Our second day in Mayo took us due west from Ballina (where we had spent the night) and we ended at the most westerly corner of Connaught, down at the very tip of a peninsula at Blacksod Lighthouse.
The drive itself was quite spectacular and we stopped many times along the way capturing more and more of the views rather than risk losing them to memory.
The whole Blacksod Bay portion of the drive was punctuated with incredible scene after incredible scene and then once we crossed the peninsula at the very end, we found ourselves staring out into the open waters of the North Atlantic Ocean.
We got some lovely views of the Inishkea Islands and in the distance, about five or six miles from shore was Blackrock Island with a lone Lighthouse and a building that housed whoever looked after it.
You’ll see a picture at the end of the blog of Blackrock Island in the distance. I think it ninth from the end.
I know I uploaded a bunch but hope you find something there to enjoy!
It was the island and the home on it that brought the thought for this morning’s blog to mind.
I imagine the solitude that must exist for whoever gets to spend time out there.
From a crowded or busy life point of view, we get to look out at it and let our minds play with the fantasy of such isolation. And it is a wonderful fantasy in so many ways.
Isolation from life, or even just stepping away for a while, for years has been a huge draw for me in taking getaway cruises. Abandoning the cell phone and email and turning inwards can give us a wonderful perspective on ourselves and on those important to us.
Sometimes we get so caught up in the craziness of issues we are dealing with in life that we forget why we are here and what it is that makes our lives worth the living.
This is why meditation works to isolate the mind from all the white noise and allows us to focus on the innermost kernel of what our life means to us.
The thought of spending time in retreat on Blackrock Island took on instant appeal to me and had my mind musing about how I could arrange to get there, even if just for a week or two.
The practicalities, of course, is that I never can but that doesn’t stop me fantasizing about it.
Whatever island we manage to get to, even if it is no more than a dark soundproof room away from the madding crowd, it is really important to do so.
Many of us in the modern era live a life that is fraught with stress and pressure. Our lives become a sudden rush of things from the moment we get out of bed until we get back in it. We hurry ourselves throughout and typically even add to the stresses by how we are handling it.
“I’m in a hurry to get things done. Oh I rush and rush until life’s no fun. I’m in a hurry and don’t know why. All I really gotta do is live and die.” – It’s the opening lines of an old song by Alabama.
Damn, I just realized I must be hitting the bottom of the barrel; I am quoting songs from country music. Good grief!
So, anyway, you’re forgiven if you don’t know that one. But the sentiment is exactly correct. We rush ourselves.
Life has its stresses. Its pressures. But it is us that takes them onboard and rush our way through the rest of life in order to cope with them.
That is such a wrong approach and one that makes so many of us miss out on what life is all about.
The Meaning of Life is not a Monty Python movie. Nor is it some deep religious significance, guiding us to a place up in the skies.
The truth is much simpler than that. Life is what we are living, here and now. It is the way we impact those around us, how we share a love with someone or something. It is how we breathe in the moment we are in and add meaning to it. It is how we pass through moments of happiness and sadness and grow with each.
Politics, wars, religions, work, wealth, they all have nothing to do with life. And when they start impacting our life, we need to find that island and run away there.
In reality I will never make it to Blackrock Island but in my mind I hope to one day. So should you. Grab your boat and with back to shore, leave the craziness of life behind and just take the time to focus a little.
Your life will be all the better for it and when all the screams and stresses die away in the distance, you will end up living more fully once it is done.
… just a thought!