The Teletubbie Hills of Clonmacnois

IMG_4451After twelve days wandering around in the corridors of Gonzaga College & between the ruins of Clonmacnois, I’m almost back in Belgium. Although I live there, I can’t deny that after two weeks, Ireland has become a bit “home” for me. You wonder why?

It’s hard to describe to “outsiders” what we, as pilgrims, experienced the last few days. But at least, let’s give it a try, because everyone deserves an opportunity to discover this way of living life.

Dear Magis friends,

More than ever, I enjoyed living in a community with people I didn’t know at all. And indeed, me too, I left a piece of my heart in the ruins on the Teletubbiehills of Clonmacnois. Was it when I arrived on the Viking boat, enlightened by the sun, overwhelmed by the old properties of Saint Ciaran? Was it when we blessed the Belgian pancakes with our own dance festival? Was it in my secret friends letters, which made me feel “magis” for more than a moment? Or when we managed to kill the last fungus in John Bosco’s?

Did I loose that piece of my heart in the fire, where we sat around the last night while locals were killing the werewolves for a difference? In the hugs during mass? In the laughs & the tears during the Magis circles? (Btw, do you remember how they say “our Father” in Iraq? :) )

Although we had lots of fun, we all came here for a specific reason: for an important choice we had to make, for a new direction in our lives, to find peace & silence in this stressed society, … Some were looking for a way to make their faith even more stronger, others were searching for a reason to believe.

Even as a currently “non-churchy” person, I was impressed by the passion and devotion from my friends with God. After all, I like the thought of a God that is the love between people, the love for the creation and the love for our society. All of these are elements of the Christian faith. But am I therefore a Christian?

The sharing about everyone’s view on Christianity showed me that the way to God is a journey and not a sudden experience. Some people are already far advanced on this road, others aren’t sure enough yet to call themselves Christians. Next to that, it showed some people that the whole “Jesus stuff” is nothing for them. But no matter what decision was made in Ireland, we all went back to our countries a bit differently.

I don’t exactly know what changed about me during this pilgrimage & I don’t bother either. Because I know some people do.The same people in whose good hands I was the last few days: who hold me when I was tired, who pushed me in the right direction when I almost got lost & held my hands on the road to myself.

I think that lost piece of my heart is somewhere in you, my fellow pilgrims, traveling in good memories between Portugal & Poland, Belgium & Spain, Slovenia, England & the Netherlands or maybe it’s secretly kept it in a castle Ireland?

I’ll get it back someday. When we are a bit further on that road to our innersoles. When we know better what we want in our lives & we have even more to teach or to share one to another. We’ll meet again guys: somewhere only we know.

See you there!

Everything was awesome.

Thanks, Hanne