Before I went to Ireland our parish priest said to me: “You’ll see … You will fall in love with Ireland. I guarantee it.” I thought to myself: “No way … There are plenty of beautiful places I’ve been and I haven’t fallen in love with them. Why would this be any different?” How wrong I was. There were times during our pilgrimage when I thought I would just unpack my bags and stay there forever. However, the thing I miss the most are the amazing people I’ve met during Magis.
I’ve been home for more than 24 hours now (I spent about 14 hours of it sleeping, 5 hours studying and most of the remaining time looking for substitutes for tea I grew to love in last week), but I still think about our West Coast Pilgrimage group all the time. I gathered enough courage to open the bag containing my hiking boots (not in the house, of course), my clothes are currently undergoing their second round in washing machine and my tear glands are apparently completely empty now. I slept through most of my way back home. I remember only small parts of my flight home, but on my way from the airport I saw a high pointy mountain far in the distance and I couldn’t take my eyes from it. It reminded me too much of Croagh Patrick.
I only ate three meals since I came home but I already miss eating Irish soda bread for breakfast and good company during the meals. My round-edged stone already has an honoured place in my room, but I still carry it around anywhere I go. The same goes for the messages we wrote to each other in the last night in Dublin. I have read them way too many times.
And I can’t stop thinking about how close to each other we became in just one week. The girls that stayed in Dublin for another night after Magis spent the last evening in a pub having last “magis circle” before going home and it was great seeing how much we were able to share comparing to what we were able to share in our first magis circle. We went from being total strangers to friends in seven days and I put things like this in a special achievements category in my mind.
I think one sentence can sum up how I feel about Magis Ireland: If I knew how to travel in time, this pilgrimage would be my favourite place to go.