I’ve just been reading other people’s blogs from Ireland and how they describe the land and how it feels to them. This quote in particular by arignagardener evoked such a feeling of longing:
The shortest day is thankfully behind us but we must wait awhile before the evenings start to lenghten. The weather is windy and wet. Here in Arigna we are still in Christmas holiday mood. I go into semi-hibernation at this time of year, I just love it. Cold wet and windy outside and we are indoors, the stove is pumping out the heat, friends calling, bit of cooking, drinking and eating.
I remember that feeling so well. I loved it!!! It is one of the feelings I miss most about being here in Egypt, where everything is bone dry and dusty. I don’t find it an easy place to be, I never have, but I know that it is where I have to be.
But its not just the landscape differences which make it difficult. The land in Ireland and the UK is so lush and green. There is growth everywhere you look. There is a magic in the landscape which is missing here. There are always issues no matter what country one lives in, I know that. And I can remember growing up in Ireland and feeling constantly irritated that there were field boundaries! In my ‘world’ I didn’t live in Modern Ireland but in pre-Christian Ireland and I felt strongly that I should be able to ride a horse (?) from the North coast of Ireland to the South Coast without having to jump across a single wall or hedge. Thinking about that now it probably wasn’t even possible then!!!!
When I moved back to Ireland in 2007 for a year I was flabbergasted at how much Ireland had changed. Growing up there I was sensitive to all the energies there, both in the landscape and in the collective unconscious but I couldn’t ‘name’ them. I just lived in them and they felt all wrong. I didn’t understand what I felt. I couldn’t separate out the layers of myself, the landscape and the people around me. It was like a a great big tangled ball of wool. But returning there after being a landscape healer and counsellor for 13 years allowed me to understand the feelings. I still had that weird feeling of things not being right though. But now I could unravel them.
It felt to me that the ancient layer of Ireland, its root was still in the ground but it was so far buried that it was no longer accessible. Modern Ireland was somehow floating above an empty space, ungrounded and rootless. To me it felt like there was a huge, important layer missing. Like a seed which is planted where there is not enough light. It grows long and spindly trying to reach that light but loses its strength to hold itself up and eventually flounders and dies. Too weak to grow. ‘Irishness’ was disappearing and being replaced by something superficial and plastic that could never last. And it didn’t. The year we left Ireland was when the Celtic Tiger lost its bite! Ireland was being forced to re-root itself in something more lasting and more sustainable, environmentally and culturally.
Since the 60’s there has been a great movement by certain segments of Society who were tapping into this same feeling of dissonance. They went back to the Land and re-rooted themselves. They recognised what was happening and were the forerunners of the new Ireland, an Ireland which is slowly, slowly evolving. After all, someone has to start the ball rolling and it eventually influences everyone. When everything starts to fall apart these are the ones who are the example to others in how to live well on the land and to recognise its abundance and fertility…and it’s Sacredness.
Which brings me back to Egypt. Dry, dusty and brown, mainly! The only green is on either side of the Nile, but this is slowly being eaten up in city expansion and commercial agriculture. On the surface it is all about money. Buildings are flying up at an alarming rate, mainly to accommodate the tourist industry. Look what happened to Spain!!! Everyone wants to get rich quick and most people don’t really care how they do it. Wealth is everything. But this newer Egyptian way is not in harmony with older beliefs here. Upper Egypt is very different to Lower Egypt. Poverty is rife here and is very much the norm. Life is chaotic, like Ireland was, and totally dysfunctional. If Egypt was a person she would be a dis-empowered, abused woman.
Just as I experienced in Ireland, living in the layers of collective human energy here is very challenging. I wish I wasn’t so sensitive to it. Before I moved here last year I had come to do energy work a number of times with my friend and colleague Chris, accompanied on half of those trips by my daughter Hana. She too is very sensitive to underlying unconscious energies and struggled as much as I did. In fact she was angry most of the time, especially when we went outside! The constant hassle, the men and the chaos would send her off into brilliant swearing ‘ fests’ where she declared that she hated Egypt and really hated the men!!! There is a huge layer of dishonesty here and corruption is the norm. I thought that only tourists were ripped off but no, Egyptians get ripped off unmercifully too!!
It is a difficult place to be. If you are oblivious to all the energies here then you will have no problem, apart from the usual feelings when living in a country which is not as organised as the UK! On my last visit I barely left the room, preferring instead to read and write. The only time I left was if we had to go some place to do energy-work. I didn’t go out if I didn’t have a good reason to. I didn’t understand that what I was experiencing was the impact of the thought-forms and emotional energy of Egypt!! Most unpleasant.
When we were leaving on that trip, which was the last time we visited before I moved here permanently last year, my guides (upstairs) said that I didn’t resonate with this energy but that I would resonate with the ‘Heart of Egypt’. Oh I see!!! I thought they meant that I didn’t resonate with Luxor. Which I really didn’t! But they didn’t mean the place, they meant the Layer! The Layer of the Heart! The Mother’s heart! It took me another year to figure that out! The heart layer is the layer which is still tangible in The UK and in the West of Ireland. It is comfort, peace and love, a love of the earth and its abundance. A layer which is very much asleep here. Egypt is too damaged to feel that love and needs to be healed before it can experience it. That could take generations but at least they are starting.
So I try to find that connection here, but it is so difficult. In the UK when I felt lousy I could get in my car and drive to the woods and walk in the trees, exploring the ancient settlements hidden there. Here I am unable to do that. I feel too visible. Every time I step outside the door everyone sees me. I can’t go for a walk by myself as everyone stops me, the kids stop me for baksheesh or pens, the men stop me to ask why I am out without my husband and then offer to take me home or offer to sell me something. There is no privacy. And in the summer it is just too hot. So I don’t go out. I stay at home. Sometimes I don’t even want to go into the garden either because as soon as I do I have the company of the kids. The need for ‘aloneness’ is not understood here. Being on your own is seen as a terrible thing, so they keep you company.
Sometimes all I want to do is stretch out on full, cool green grass and sleep.
I’m going to have to see if I can find that palm tree woods downriver and take a walk there…when it cools down a little…or buy a boat and spend all day on the river, away from the madding crowd.