Ireland’s New Grange Monument
When I stepped off the plane, almost twenty years had passed since the near death experience. I was not accustomed to seeing so many people with red hair and freckles. I immediately thought of my daughter, Audrey. She would finally feel right at home, since she was redheaded and kissed by the angels many times in the form of freckles scattered on her nose and cheeks.
After renting a car and making sure I had my trusty umbrella, scarf and raincoat I set on my quest. With the light drizzle of rain on the windshield, I had high expectations and romantic thoughts of ancient days.
I purchased tickets, and my guided tour would begin soon. I walked onto the New Grange Monument and took a moment for meditation and connection to the earth. There was a group of about 20 people visiting from all different countries.
As I walked inside, my eyes adjusted to the darkness deep inside the mound and I began to see small chambers to the left and right. At the end of the mound was the focal point with an altar carved out of stone. The guide said that on the winter solstice at exactly the right time a narrow beam of light hit exactly onto the altar from outside a narrow hollow space like a laser. As a farming culture, depending on the sun to plant and harvest their crops, the people’s relationship to the sun was vital for survival. As we all stood in silence in the complete darkness for moment, I contemplated what it would be like to live on such a one-to-one basis with the rhythms of the earth’s seasons again.
I kept my New Grange postcard on my desk for many years to remind me of the dedication of the ancestors that came before me and to be thankful. One of the after affects of a near death experience is that an experiencer can have a hunger for knowledge and learning, highly curious. I definitely yearned to ignite and absorb the history of Ireland, her people and her beautiful historic sights.
Our guide informed the tour participants that if we wanted to put our name in for a yearly drawing, you might be one of the lucky chosen few who if there name was drawn, you could experience the light piercing into the darkness. You could be standing in New Grange in that special moment on the most auspicious winter’s solstice. I never put in my name. Maybe I need to go back to New Grange and give it a try. If you go, maybe you will have the luck of the Irish draw.