The Ancient Druidic Practice of Walking the Dog

A couple of months ago, my partner and I got a dog.  It’s the first time I’ve had a dog since I was a teenager.  It’s the first time I’ve lived with a dog.  She’s still a puppy but she’s almost 7 months old now.  The weather has been good, summer is here and we have a big grassy field behind our house.

As a child and a teenager, I spent a lot of my time walking through fields, usually walking the dog.   I forgot just how much I love and need this sort of simple practice in my life.  Walking in the field is more for me than it is for the dog.  It’s a place and a time apart.  It’s a place and a time connected to the bigger picture.  It’s a place of big skies, meadows, and hedgerows.  It speaks to me of seasons.

And it also connects me to my younger self.  This is what I did.  This is what I do.  A walk around the field feels deeply nourishing.  Even if I get nothing else done that day, a walk around the field feels like I have done something worthwhile, much as in the same way a visit to the beach always feels like a good and right thing to do.

For now, I relish the summer days and the trees in full leaf.  In just a few short months, the season will start to turn and the leaves will turn gold and red and the wind will feel cold again.  And those times walking in the field will be just as nourishing, in their own way.

btw you can follow the dog on Instagram




The Noise

Introverted ol’ me finds it really hard to tune out noise.  I have a few standard responses to noisy environments.

At first, I wince.  The sound is like an assault on my body. It almost hurts and I can’t think. And I can keep wincing, never feeling like I’ve properly righted myself. And then…

1. Shields UP!

When this happens, I can throw up my shields, Star Trek style, to defend myself.  Shielding myself protects me from being battered by the sound but it’s exhausting. I also can’t feel much when I’m defending myself. My breathing becomes shallow and I’m in a sort of stasis, waiting for safety to come.  Or I might..

2. Check out

Eventually, I might leave the room/environment.  I’ll go walking or pacing somewhere else.  I’ll go into full on introvert ‘don’t make me party’ mode.  And even though I’d like to be present, I can’t be.  When I’m like this, I might come across as aloof or bored or indifferent.  But sometimes I can..

3. Surf it

If I feel centred in myself.   If I’m calm and breathing and feeling connected to the world, I can surf the noise, playfully bouncing off the energy of it..  I can walk through a busy noisy room.  City streets don’t usually bother me if I know where I’m going. I can move through the crowds like I would on the dance floor in a 5Rhythms class.  When I don’t fight it, it can be enjoyable. But only for short periods of time.


In response to Daily Prompt


What principles do you fight for?

The left are foolish.

We can’t judge the past by today’s standards.

The old are wise.

They’re so backwards.

What values do you defend?

Culchie, hick, savage. No culture.

The right are greedy.

They didn’t know any better.

How could people think like that?

We can’t let our civilisation be destroyed.

Things were different then.

My god, look at those people.

Everything is going wrong.

We need to defend our culture and our values.

People thought differently.

The youth are foolish.




Response to Daily Prompt

Not Afraid of Who I Used to Be


I did a meditation exercise recently that asked me to contemplate my values, the things that I hold dear.  A few short years ago, I wouldn’t have been able to articulate them as well as I can now.   I feel the difference in me when I’m with my extended family.  I can see my values and my character reflected in the people around me, but also in my journey to here and now.  I am glad of the life I have lived until now, in all its banality and its weirdness and wonderment.

In Rising Strong, Brené Brown writes that we have to believe that everyone is doing the best they can the best they know how.  I completely agree with her.  I look back at who I was, and all I’ve done, or not done, and I see I was doing the best I could, with what I knew how.

Sometimes I followed my heart, and sometimes I lost it.  Often I wasn’t living with integrity.  I made mistakes and I didn’t know how to fix them.

Sometimes I hurt people.  I didn’t set out to do so but I did.  There are  people who are no longer in my life because they felt hurt by me.  To them, I’m sorry for the hurt that I caused, but I was doing the best I could, the best way I knew how.

There were times I felt lost, but there were no lost years.

There were times I danced to different drums, but I took that experience to the next dance floor.

Pop music is not about high art, pop is about resonating with a feeling, and, this week, I’m resonating with ‘Younger Now’, by Miley Cyrus.

“Feels like I just woke up

Like all this time I’ve been asleep

Even though it’s not who I am

I’m not afraid of who I used to be”

It’s a wonderful thing to be alive and human and have this opportunity to blunder and stumble, and sing and dance and be wild and silly and wise and graceful.   I am glad of who I am.  I am happy.  When I was younger, I would be embarrassed easily and everything made me blush. And I would be embarrassed by who I was.  But I’m not now.  That young boy, that young man, that man yesterday, he was doing the best he knew how.  Just like me.

A Challenge

I have the good fortune to have a friend who writes to me, using actual paper, pen and ink.  This friend is very creative.  A month ago, she included this little envelope in her letter.


I haven’t opened it yet.  I haven’t written anything on here for a long time.  I want to know what’s inside it.  I know that my friend is telling me to get back to putting thoughts into words, and I thank her for it.

I do well with simple, time-boundaried challenges.  For example,  I’m currently working my way though a series of mediations associated with my OBOD druidry studies.  I gave myself one lunar month to do it, from one new moon to the next.  I complete it today.  That works for me. It’s a S.M.A.R.T. goal.

I am curious about the reasons why I stopped writing so much on here.  Partly it’s because I’ve been happily partnered.  I’ve had less angst to process.  Things have been simpler, and more private.

So, here’s a small challenge/goal for me, from me, supported by my friend.  Write three more posts over the next three days, so that I can find out what’s in that envelope.

I miss email


I miss email.

I started emailing about 20 years ago when I was still in high school (secondary school in Ireland.) I joined a couple of mailing lists and it allowed me to connect with a druid community far away from me. When I travelled, I sent group emails to my friends, updating them on my life and journeys.  Then social media and Facebook and messengers came along and we all stopped emailing. The immediacy of messenger services like Viber, WhatsApp, and FB Messenger is wonderful. Group chats for family and friends keep us all connected.

But I still miss personal email, the digital letter.

I have a friend who sends me a handwritten letter once a month. It’s a beautiful thing. I have replied occasionlly with my own handwriting, but my handwriting is difficult for even me to read.

More and more I want to nurture the deeper friendships in my life. For me, part of that nurturing is going to take the form of personal emails, digital letters from me to thee. The other person might not reply but some will.

It might be my introversion, but a message from you, just to me and vice versa is deeply connecting. I feel more in touch with someone who writes a letter to me once a month, and whom I never see in person, than someone I met socially.

I have heard people bemoan digital communication as the death of the art of letter writing. It doesn’t have to be.  Open your heart and your browser. Write to someone, tell them what’s happening in your life.





Support Me to Become a Celebrant

Dear Reader,

This summer I am training to become a wedding and family celebrant in Ireland.  I need some help with the fees.  I have created a GoFundMe page with several reward options.  As you’ll know from this blog, I enjoy reading aloud.  For example, for €20 I’ll record myself reading your choice of text.  This could be a poem or a prayer or something longer.  Other options are for me to host a ceremony with you, in your home, or even perform your wedding once I’ve qualified!

Doing this work, in exchange for donations, I am showing myself that I am already on the path.  I am doing the work. And I will be making connections with real people and gaining very valuable experience.  I really value your support both in reading this, and in any financial support you can offer, and I would love to connect with you process.

Please click through to



UPDATE 16 July 2017

I borrowed the remaining money for the course from my partner. However, I am still taking donations if you wish to send them.  I started the course and am thoroughly enjoying it and I am looking forward to launching my new career as a celebrant in the late 2017.