Celtic Thought For The Day #19: Natural Rhythms

99 CELTIC Wway 1 copy

However we mark the passage of time, there seems to be an ever-increasing need to cram more into the day. In the UK it seems that our ears are almost permanently ‘welded’ to the mobile phone. Are we naturally conversational?  It’s probably more about an increased desire in ‘doing’ more.

‘You have travelled too fast over false ground; Now your soul has come to take you back.’ John O’Donohue

As an amateur astronomer I know the seasons from which constellations peep over the horizon and what meteor showers are due; as a herbalist, I am aware of which plants are in season and can mark time that way. Stars and plants have their own cycle, and will not be hurried. As someone that loves ritual, I’m aware of how important timing is. True ritual as the Celts and Druids of old knew, that ushers us into ‘sacred time’, cannot be rushed. Try to rush it, and you miss the reason for doing it, and you remain in ‘ordinary time’. They also knew about plants and trees, the seasons, something which many are unaware of – the rise in the interest of ancient belief may restore this wisdom.

Ancient people, including the Celts, had a notion of the need for ‘body time’ and ‘soul time’ to be in synch. Travel too fast, physically, and you might have to wait for your soul to catch up.

A Western traveller to Africa some time age, working to a tight schedule was annoyed when, after a few days, his guides refused to move on. ‘This is a waste of valuable time. Can someone tell me what’s going on here?, he shouted. The translator looked at him and calmly answered, ‘They’re waiting for their souls to catch up with their bodies.’ Terry Hershey, Sacred Necessities: Gifts for Living with Passion, Purpose, and Grace.

It seems to me that there is a God-given natural rhythm to nature, to life, which we exceed constantly at our peril. Ofcourse, when working we have to work to company schedules, but where you can, maybe tonight, after work – relax and let your soul catch up with your body. Slow.

4 thoughts on “Celtic Thought For The Day #19: Natural Rhythms

  1. Four years ago, my personal and professional life crashed. My days up until that point were spent driving all over the state and sometimes flying out-of-state for work. My email was overflowing, my phone going off every few minutes with calls and voice mail and texts.

    If I wasn’t just leaving a meeting, I was heading for a meeting or – in too many cases, parked in front of my computer for a video conference. I kept track of To-Do tasks on colored Post-It notes lined up in rows on my desk and it didn’t matter how many I pulled off, there were always more I had to add. Meals largely consisted of running through the drive-through (while talking on the phone) and gulping it down while I drove OR squeezing a “working lunch” with whoever was demanding my time at that moment. I thought I was living The Life, centered as I was -right in the middle of What’s Happening Now.

    After The Crash (which included job loss and a divorce), I moved back to my hometown in a small 2-bedroom home at the end of a private lane. There was no “Next Thing” hammering for my attention. I had nothing….No Thing….to do. Internet access was spotty, there wasn’t money for cable and my cell phone only worked on the far corner of the back deck.

    I had few distractions and plenty of time to just BE and observe the world around me. One of the first things I ran across was that quote from John O’Donohue. “You’ve traveled too fast over false ground…..” It seemed as though it had been written for me.

    I spent a lot of time sleeping and reading. Eventually, I reacquainted myself with the kitchen and tried a few new recipes with the items I picked up at the local farmers market. With no schedule and no screaming reminders of The Next Thing, I was able to simply watch the seasons glide into one another. For the very first time in my life, I was able to appreciate November for the lovely gray lady she was instead of seeing it only as a launching pad for the busy holiday season.

    That was four years ago. Truly my soul DID come to take me back! I’m still in the house at the end of the lane where birds and critters (including the occasional marauding bear) come to dine at the feeders. I did eventually install a better internet system but I chose not to bother with cable television. I don’t even own a packet of Post-It notes. I’ve re-learned what it means to ‘read for pleasure’ and, best of all, discovered Celtic spirituality. I felt my heart has finally come home.

    Sorry for the long message but I really appreciate your posts and this one today particularly touched my spirit.


    • Thankyou for that Cathy. It was just the right length, a great account of a tough time in your life, and a great testimony of how you got through it. I do believe many will draw strength from your bravery and determination.

      And, you discovered Celtic spirituality and a love of books – two things dear to my heart.

      Thankyou for posting that. Do please stay in touch. Tadhg


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