Oh, I do like to be beside the seaside, oh, I do like to be beside the sea. I’m not sure if there is another place in the world like Bangor City, or should I say the city of Bangor?
If you wander just past the Pickie Pool you’ll come across a beautiful changing hut for the cold water dippers that looks across to the Copeland Islands. It’s so beautiful that it lends itself to what I can only describe as a conducive environment for meditation.
As I sat on the bench and gazed across the rippling waves towards the horizon, the lapping of the waves, the breeze and the aroma of seaweed brought me to a stillness that only nature can. I found myself gazing into the mystery from my little city cathedral. This is my spiritual connection, where the music of the waves lulls me to a state of grace in both place and time.
Great to swing by @cargocoffee_ this #SmallBusinessSaturday for a festive hot chocolate to enjoy with a book recently picked up from Chapters bookshop in Holywood.— Cllr Hannah Irwin (@h_irwin98) December 3, 2022
We're lucky to have such a wide range of small businesses across Bangor who contribute so much to our city centre. pic.twitter.com/bCMPzGaWw1
The sun was setting at around 4.30pm and as the light began to fade, I could hear seabird song echo across the sandy cove where I was seated. As I breathed a breath of Bangor, I connected with the timelessness of this therapeutic moment. It's medicine for this time of anxious austerity and the great uncertainty of not knowing what the future will bring, fuelled by the dormant Stormont and the intransigence of the presenting past.
As we head towards the winter solstice and the turning of the year, I wish that we all had the courage of a new vision to break out of this stupor of a closed cul-de-sac and be brave, like the men and women who sailed the seas of the unknown to new lands without borders.
On the Friday, December 16, I will be interviewing Dr Lisa Miller of Stanford University who has devoted her studies to what is called spiritual psychology. Lisa is an expert in this field and her thesis is that we need to root ourselves in our own spiritual connection.
Her cathedral, like mine, is nature, and she can scientifically prove the soothing, anchoring benefits of exploring and letting Mother Nature prescribe her own medicine for us as we recharge ourselves for these challenging times. I am looking forward to hearing her ideas.
Copeland island out of the tidal eddy #copelandislands pic.twitter.com/PbVJf8vm2z— Rick Hill MBE (@BangorBuoy) February 28, 2021
I’m looking forward to asking her questions about our own Celtic spirituality and our Celtic ways as we move towards the winter solstice.
First you need to shed all you know
or can name
then you need to step out of
your shoes, your shadow, your own
light, and your home. Strip
naked as the four winds
and forget being upright
unless you want to dance, and then
dance the stone row to the stone circle
and allow the sky to take your voice.
This is the season of yew and periwinkle
of Persephone’s descent
to the winter god.
Watch for the barn owl
and Hecate at the crossroads
and prepare to hang from the World Tree
until you are sobered by silence
and stillness, and the great
white unending song of the spheres.
Kneel on the earth until
you become a reed, a snail, a fox,
another word for truth.
Be the berry in the dark stream
that the water bears away.
Transformed into all
you may be, step forward and cross
the threshold, gateway to gods
and ancestors, to what will endure
beyond all that you can imagine
of the play of particle, of wave –
take the hand that’s offered, step through
this gateway to the light that burns within
which now you’ll never lose again.
Carol of the Bells. The melody for this Christmas carol is based on a prehistoric Ukranian folk chant 'Shchedryk' which celebrates the winter Solstice. Happy Solstice from the west coast of Ireland! pic.twitter.com/d29AnRUzaj— Patrick Dexter (@patrickdextervc) December 21, 2021