I'm really excited to let you all know about a trip to Ireland that David Wilcox, Karen Moore and I are leading this summer. I've wanted to bring people to my homeland for a long time, and have done smaller trips before, but this is a major step up. One of the constant refrains I hear from folk in the US who have visited Ireland before is that they 'didn't go to the North'. We're going to change that.
Staying first in 400 year old thatched cottages in Mourne country (that's Mourne country above - really) and then a lovely old country house by the sea outside Belfast (that's Belfast below), with a group of friends old and new, enjoying the landscape on amazing walks, hearing music and story, meeting locals, experiencing the peace process in meeting people directly involved in activism and change, and getting to know the culture of northern Ireland, immersed in Celtic culture ancient and new. Great food, inspiring art, and beautiful journeys on foot will form the heart of this soulfully unique and transforming experience. This will be a ten day experience - for twenty guests only - that might just last for the rest of your life.
Many of you know that I was privileged to become friends with John O'Donohue in the few years before his death in 2008. John used to host what he called 'tours', based in County Clare, for pilgrims who wanted to experience Ireland in authenticity rather than the more antiseptic/corporate tourist trip where feet don't touch the ground and souls might as well have stayed on the plane. I was lucky enough to be involved in facilitating what turned out to be the last tour John led in Ireland. This upcoming trip is very much inspired by the kinds of things John led people into on his trips: mornings will be gathered conversations, afternoons we will walk the landscape, and in the evenings there will be music, storytelling, and certainly firewater magic. You'll meet friends and colleagues with whom I have been honored to walk some of the journey, peacemakers and poets and politicians, you'll walk by the sea and on mountains, and there'll be plenty of time to take by yourself for whatever you need.
The trip takes place in July 2014 - five months from now. If you're interested, and want more details, please send an email at this link, and we'll send you the information and application form. Places really are strictly limited - we can accommodate 20 guests, and expect the trip to be over-subscribed. So if you know this is for you, or if you're asking maybe, let me know. David, Karen and I can't wait to welcome you to Belfast in July. And now, here's a picture of a fish.