Saturday, September 6, 2014

Come to the Well

The Burren
The Burren of western Ireland is a little like the Lot region...made of limestone and a land of cliffs and rocks, lots of rocks. The limestone terrain is perfect for caves, wells and springs and the Burren holds all of them. This day our goal was St.Colman's hermitage and his holy well. We began with a silent trek along a rocky path...

After climbing over rock stiles and passing a small herd of curious cows, we came to this sacred hazel tree which stands guard at the entrance to Colman's domain....
Christine explained the tree's significance, and we each blessed it and asked for its blessing in return before continuing into the woods....
Here the path grew a little steeper and muddier. Pilgrims must endure, tho, so on we went....
until we came to the ruins of St. Colman's tiny oratory
and his holy well.
There is often a 'rag tree' standing beside a holy well. This is the one at St. Colman's well. The pilgrim ties a piece of rag or a ribbon on the tree asking in prayer for a special blessing. You can see this tree is well visited!
Then the pilgrim walks around the well three times going in the direction of the sun (clockwise) to complete the prayer. Some of our group also scrambled up a steep trail to have a look at St. Colman's cave in the cliffside.

Again in silence our pilgrim group walked back to our waiting van after another deeply meaningful day on the pilgrimage path in Ireland.

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