Isle of Mull whispers

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Isle of Mull, Scotland 2017

Outlines of Duart castle drew me in with its mossy and slate colours and ancient architecture. Like a hand of times long gone it stretched out to me across water standing in the rain on a ferry. Greens, pale blues and grey surround my senses and my heart leaps towards the land at a distance. I smell pines as I step off the ferry and quiet, oh so quiet. A bird tweets, invisible, and I catch the sound as a welcome home. My feet plant comfortably into the soil and I feel like running towards the forest, sea and be swallowed up by thundery sky overhead. I love the rain here. I barely notice it.

I know the place I want to go to, near Loch Don, not far, a piece of paradise silenced into simple yet magical beauty. A white cottage on a hill with deer surrounding it curiously poking their heads from behind its worn walls. Roses in the garden covered in glistening drops nicely quenched. I take my shoes off and walk towards the garden fence. Silence goes through me and I feel like flying. Next I want to melt into the place and become a stone, a blade of grass or a shell lying on a loch’s shore. Nowhere else I feel more a part of something beyond myself and deeply grounded in my own body. Here I remember who I am. That question gets answered every time the island calls and every time is like the first time I find myself again. It scares me how quickly I get lost when apart from this soul land and every time when it takes me back in I am born again. The process is both painful and ecstatic, distorted and transformational. It can be tiring too yet I wouldn’t change any of it. Wind’s gentle breath brushes my cheek and I inhale deeply the clean air from the land’s lungs. I fear to lose it, not to be part of it always, but I know that I find home here every time and that is hopeful, sweet, ‘balsam to a wound like’.

The house was to be sold and I am here to either say good bye to it or possess it for eternity…

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This came to me this morning just before Yule and I am so glad of it. There’s a promise in my vision.

Don’t forget to pay attention to your visions and intuitive glimpses during this beautiful time of darkness.

I am home

The wilderness possesses me with its air as fresh and sharp as a blade of grass

My senses entwine with the spirit it holds

Precious, powerful, ancient

I walk the place feeling the roots grabbing at my feet

I need it, oh how I need it

Take me whole, I say,

Swaddle me in mystery and myth so I can become the voice as ancient as eternity

Wilderness feeds me with its elements as vibrant and penetrating as a gaze of a loved one

I surrender to the glory of all it is and become myself at once as a native animal at a distance and wild flowers all around

The wind slaps me in the face and I welcome its magic of removing webs of my unseeing

Immersion in the body of its water engulfs me as the loving and nurturing mother

I am home, fed, alive like never before

Going home

Like a lover long gone it gently teases with its promise of pleasure

Like the first love long dead it stirs the ashes of my shaken heart into yarning

Like a smoke over the hills it entices me home

Like a river it washes off my worldly doings

You never were mine, will you be mine now?

Will you come like an old friend that never forgot?

Like an old wound that still remembers the pain of love

Will you heal with me in embrace eternal and sacred?

Will you die with me always knowing the love we shared?

Will you come home?

The land’s awaiting…

Eagerly anticipated trip to the Isle of Mull, Scotland, where spaciousness and quiet are of the sacred quality. You notice the space through the senses of transpersonal as if your heart expands to beyond possible. It is very quiet there. Each sound is sharp and defined, momentary and fleeting and then silence clear and pure. Each movement of the wind is felt on the skin like it’s meant to be there, like your body knows it, recognises it. A sense of merging with the land takes your breath away and for a moment you can’t imagine ever living apart from it. Intoxicating, yes, incredibly natural, yes like the flow of water whether it’s the sea, a loch or a small brook amidst trees belongs to your blood. It is as one with everything you are and the world beyond its shores seems non-existent. You are unreachable, a place to be wild and raw just like the land. It is free and itself at all times. The land makes one feel like otherworldly thoughts are as part of you as your soul’s calling. It knows you and you know it intimately. The place felt incredibly safe to me from the first sight as the ferry approached its shores and as I stepped on the island again I felt like I arrived. I really arrived and slotted into a comfortable, supportive vessel that I knew would gently lull me into falling in love with it all over again. It is more than love though, trust and faith are possible here, effortless even. Listening and being still is natural here. It is innate.

Scotland is a very spiritual place and in different ways depending on where one goes there. Each area visited brings its own joy, transformations and experiences. The land allows you to explore the whole you by talking the language my soul understands. The land is alive and one can’t help but be touched by it. It is overwhelming and all-consuming, raw and unspoilt that makes you feel like you are born again or rather having lived a life in glory that is achieved through merging with the land. Divinity within is reflected by the divine beauty of the place and how can it be otherwise as in the moment of merging all is revealed and all is possible and the land and I are one entity seeking ecstasy of being. Leaving the land is heartbreaking, truly… every time…

Answering the ‘call’

 

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Isle of Mull, Scotland 2017

I heard the call back in 2013 and when stepping upon this land my heart exploded. I was tossed and turned with internal screaming, bursting into tears of joy and confusion. Struck by sheer magic and meaning of what it was like to belong to a place I never knew existed.

It took me years to work out what had happened back then when I first visited Scotland. Every year since then I can not bear be parted from it. It hasn’t been easy going back and stepping into the land that knew my soul so well again and again and having to leave it behind every time consumed by nothing less than sheer grief.

I am still in that place of neither here nor there, desperately wanting to go and needing to stay, having to live the life I have here, which is glorious in many ways. I am content yet deep yearning never leaves me for the place that stole my utter being and grabbed hold of me so tightly.

With each passing year the pull of the land continues, in fact, it has intensified with each summer when I would make the same journey and every winter when my heart would pine for it. I fought against it and even tried to convince myself it wasn’t real or happening just to test yet the answer was always the same. It is in my bones so deep I can’t be separated from it physically or spiritually.

I lived there before a long time ago and died a gruesome death with my blood spilling directly on the earth and penetrating its cells. I was of the land like a native animal that recognised smells, sounds and colours of every season the land had dressed itself in. I am still of that land, I am still that animal. I can taste it and its distinctive smell never leaves my senses. It is a particular sensation instantly recognisable by me. I can reach it at any moment yet physical separation remains too much to bear.

I live with my heart open and always listen carefully and intentionally to what the next step might be…

 

The Land of dreaming

Caingorms National park, Scotland
Upland spring by Loch Etchachan, Cairngorm National Park, Grampian Area. ©Lorne Gill/SNH

Am I asleep or am I dreaming? What is this feeling of all consuming something my heart struggles to hold yet wants so deeply? I am overjoyed yet bereft at the same time. I cry and laugh all in one moment of sheer madness when I lay my hands on the land. My feet touch the green softness moist with the promise of morning dew. I live, I die, I am in haven yet in pain.

My love affair with the land began a few years ago when I first experienced this strange merging with something. I came upon a place that had a certain smell, vibration where I felt I died and gone to heaven, where my body struggled to adjust to all that air, space and majestic wilderness. Did it touch upon my own sleepy wild heart? It made me cry mad words into the air and at others surrounding me. It made no sense to myself or anyone else yet I couldn’t stop screaming, crying and falling breathless on the grass of the earth seemingly sacred to my soul. It felt like reawakening of love of some kind, familiar yet new, scary yet exciting. Ever since the first step upon the land this dance of confusion carried on summer after summer.

Ambivalent, powerful pull like a voice that screams terrible words one minute and sings a soft lullaby the next. I hear it always yet the message is unclear. Come, go, stay, leave, dance, sit, scream, be quiet. Whatever it all means I find the unfolding of this relationship fascinating.

I am still searching for a settlement. It is alive in my mind, but reality is quite scary. Whenever I am in the land of my dreaming I feel hugely overwhelmed, bitter-sweet, can’t breathe it is too much air type of situation, total intoxication, grief at the thought of separation, yet a relief somewhat when away, but not for long, as the yearning of the heart returns just as strong to merge with it again and it continues like this year after year. I find myself quite confused about it all by now…

I love it so much it hurts

I love it so much it hurts. The land welcomes me this time with open arms and I feel nothing but warmth and nurture. I feel at home and I instantly recognise that familiar smell of the land, which I know well. It is raining and I am in my element of gentle water standing on a lake shore watching gentle giants mountains hugging the shore. I touch the water, it is clear and crispy cold and through my body pure joy spreads. It is a dance of recognition, which I feel a lot stronger this time round. While my husband looks nostalgic for hot weather and home, I am home. I tell him that most of my happiest memories took place either in rain or snow and I acknowledge that link and it makes sense.

Isle of Mull – lush and green with landscape showing off its mountains, valleys, lochs, forests and sea. It is such a mixture of the elements that makes it so rich. It is incredibly peaceful here like nowhere else I had felt in Scotland so far; well, perhaps, only the first time in Perthshire where my love for the land first stuck me. We are staying in the middle of nowhere and it feels so safe to me here. It feels like no one and nothing would find me here and if I was to stay I would be happy for the rest of my days. My heart begins to ache along with joy I cry inside for wanting to merge with the land forever. It hurts in my chest and with each breath I can’t seem to get enough. That feeling of safety is a new one, as previously while in Scotland I have always felt conflicted and often anxious, even scared. Not this time. Here I have come into myself somehow and the land here is so gentle in comparison with Northern Highlands or the Isle of Skye, e.g. Those places activated my shadow material and threw me into an emotional turmoil amidst some deeply spiritual experiences. The land there is fierce, wild, unforgiving and untouchable in its stunning beauty. It is majestic and independent. Here I am held, firmly and I can hear the land speaking to me. It is gentle and soothing. Vibration is of softness and it touches on places within me much lighter and happier. This reflects in our relational dynamics between the boys and me. Our trip was very different this time round like we all tapped into a gentler way of being with one another, there is less conflict and more recognition and acknowledgment of needs all around.

Standing in the garden I witness deer coming in closer grazing on lush green vegetation surrounding the house. It is a beautiful sight and they stop and stare at me in silent pause. God it is so peaceful here! Even deer is different here compared to imposing huge stags of the Highlands. These deer are gentler and smaller and devoid of antler crowns. My response to them is also strikingly different, less of knee shaking awe and worship-like way of witnessing them, it is quieter, softer and more ‘homely’ somewhat. As I lie in bed looking out of the window with views to die for I feel my heart beating with such love. It is intense and aching, as I already know how hard it will be leaving this land in a few days.