You, The Hero: The Call To A Celtic Adventure

20170928 YOU THE HERO THE CALL TO A CELTIC ADVENTUREYou are the hero of your story. There is no one quite like you, and no one has a story of adventure like yours. Latter-day Celts were a brave and adventurous people – you only need follow the adventure of one of my favourites, Brendan the Navigator, to appreciate that. And, that spiritual ‘DNA’ runs in your veins. You are the hero of your story.

‘A true spiritual journey is beyond time and space, history and culture, guidelines and descriptions.’ John Daido Loori, Riding The Ox Home

There is a story told from ancient times of a man who was ‘called’, at seventy-five years of age, to leave his family and to become a ‘hero’ by being adventurous and travelling some distance to forge a great nation. In the movies this ‘calling’ is perceived as the voice of the Source of All, God, and the hero in question hears this loud, booming, commanding voice, and of he sets.

I hear your voice on the wind
And I hear you call out my name
“Listen, my child,” you say to me
“I am the voice of your history
Be not afraid, come follow me
Answer my call, and I’ll set you free”

Sung by Celtic Woman. Writer: Brendan Graham

There’s no reason to suppose that the Source’s voice, when ‘calling’ that man was so loud and booming, and it’s only an assumption that he set off immediately. But, it makes great tv and movie scripts. Like most people’s understanding of being ‘called’, I have a feeling that this ‘calling’ might have been a gentler affair, a whisper, and over a protracted period of time. But, it was, for him, an unmistakeable ‘calling’.

And so, one by one I mentioned to some friends of my planned adventure to Iona.

It might be that you are ‘called’ to do something else. It could be that you ‘come alive’ when you do a particular thing or plan to do it, or think of a certain place, or a journey toward growth or maturation or enlightenment/transformation, and that may be a ‘calling’ for you. Or, it could be a nagging feeling of ennui to do something and not accept the status quo. It might even be an ‘inner whisper’, and, having discounted it earlier, it might, yes, it might even be a loud ‘inner voice’ or shout!

I made a mental note to myself: #1 ‘Callings’ to something different and adventurous come in a myriad of ways – there is no standard format.

‘Iona? Oh, that’s a Greek island, isn’t it?’, one of my friends said. ‘You’ll get some nice weather there, then’, another said. I then put them right by informing them that it is as a small island off the west coast of Scotland. Another then another friend exclaimed, ‘….but it’ll be October, and cold’.

No matter who much I tried to convince these friends – others were understanding – I couldn’t convince them that this was the right thing for me to do.

I made a another mental note: #2 Be careful who you tell. It’s your ‘calling’ and not there’s. Those that understand will give you lots of encouragement and praise. Those who don’t understand may actually try to convince you that the idea is as ‘soppy as a box of frogs’. Remember, you don’t need to convince them. It’s you calling. You are the hero of your story. Choose wisely which friends you inform.

Do you feel like a hero, feel like you’re called?

‘…it is summed up in an often mutilated text…: ‘I am calling all of you, but so few of you allow yourselves to be chosen”, Matthew 12:14, The Book

When the ‘calling’ is first ‘heard’ it is felt within the confines of daily life, in surroundings that are familiar and ‘cosy’, and with friends around (and some of them may not understand). And, all this may be too much to ‘leave behind’.

The Abbot of the Zen Mountain Monastery tells an old tale [and no pun intended] of the ‘riding the ox home’ tale. The story centres around ten oriental prints, and the first print is of someone looking for the ox. They cant see the ox, have no idea of what lays ahead, only that they have an inkling that something is not quite right, and have a ‘glimpse’ of becoming aware of the possibility of a spiritual search and adventure.

Vigorously cutting a path through the brambles, you look for the ox;
rivers wide, mountains far, the path gets longer.
Running out of strength, mind exhausted, you cannot find it.
Rustling of maple leaves
singing of evening cicadas.

John Daido Loori, Riding The Ox Home

I made yet another mental note to myself: #3 At the beginning, events and ‘things’ may crowd in, and the ‘calling to adventure’ could be drowned out by the ‘mundane’, by already-made committments, by being too busy, or continually ‘kicking it into the long grass’, or wandering aimlessly listening to the cicadas, or even by well-meaning friends giving me brochures of wonderful holidays on some Greek islands.

I’m too old to worry about what people think, and close friends are happy for me to take off to Iona for a pilgrimage in response to a call to adventure. And so, plans are coming together, and it won’t be long for me, now.

‘Procrastination is the thief of time, collar him.’ Charles Dickens, David Copperfield

You are the hero of your story. There is no one quite like you, and no one has a story of adventure like yours. Live that latter-day Celtic adventure now.

 

9 thoughts on “You, The Hero: The Call To A Celtic Adventure

  1. Hi Tadhg and thanks. I find the Ox-herding texts more and more significant as I age, and I was glad to read your words on them and the way you brought these concepts together.

    The idea of pilgrimage resonates for me, and I wish you well on your own heroic quest (another resonance as I’ve written a book on this!).

    I’m sharing my own work with the notion of pilgrimage to Iona in the spirit of companionship and in case you find it interesting, not as a plug!

    https://roselle-angwin.co.uk/week-long-residentials/islands-of-the-heart-iona/

    Look forward to reading of your journey.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Roselle. Many thanks for reading the article and commenting. Please do stay in touch. Regular, daily updates and photos will appear on my Facebook page and TadhgTalks of my Iona and Skye pilgrimage. I’ve looked at the itinerary of your 2018 and it looks fascinating. Please, please do send information about that. You and that pilgrimage are in my prayers. Light and love, Tadhg.

      Like

  2. Tadhg,
    Blessings.

    May I tecount my Calling to Iona to you?

    I have been called to Iona twice. The first time in 1996 when I had no idea what it was. Oh – I had an idea, of course, the reality of the connection I made to this thin place was nowhere near my expectations. I had learned about Iona from far away Seattle, USA.

    My second pilgrimage was in 2013 for my 70th birthday.

    Both Times I have joined the Abbey community for my nearly one week stay. An odd choice one might say because I do not identify at all with Christianity.

    I am so very happy for you that you are the threshold if this experience. and look forward to your blogs.

    Enjoy the anticipation – that too is part of your pilgrimage.

    Blessed Be,
    Zoé in Seattle.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thankyou for reading the article and for your well-wishes. I’m pleased you’ve been to Iona twice. It is a wonderful place, full of awe, and a thin place. Many blessings Zoë, to you and yours at this time, Tadhg

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  3. Found your article quite relevant for me. I am nearer the age of the ‘old’ man’ and although having followed a calling earlier in my life it feels rather more challenging this time – what if…what if….etc! However, I believe if we don’t answer the call we will probably regret it when time finally runs out. I wish you well.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mollie, many thanks for taking the time to read the article and for your wise words. It’s always difficult to respond to calls and challenges bu, youre,right, we probably will regret not heeding the call. Many thanks for your well-wishes. Light and love, Tadhg.

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  4. Roselle. Many thanks for reading the article and commenting. Please do stay in touch. Regular, daily updates and photos will appear on my Facebook page and TadhgTalks of my Iona and Skye pilgrimage. I’ve looked at the itinerary of your 2018 and it looks fascinating. Please, please do send information about that. You and that pilgrimage are in my prayers. Light and love, Tadhg.

    Like

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