Yesterday I learned a new skill: grass trimming! I not only got the lawn mowed and looking great, but felt accomplished and pleased with myself for this important new learning curve :)! It is the little things in life. I love the order. Whoever has seen my office and home in its more disarrayed state would never guess. But I have always liked order in the in-between moments of my sometimes way-too-busy schedule. Between each chapter of the book, after each important deadline reached, I rearrange my room, my kitchen, the wardrobe – whatever feels most in need or is most crowding my mind.

It allows me see things differently.

So the view out of my window is a deep green, neat lawn.


However, it is the smell of freshly cut grass that most holds me. I have always loved that smell! One more thing that has brought my mind homeward these past days…

It has been a while since my Irish melancholy raised its head. And I don’t mind. Actually I think it’s healthy, and allows me see the stuff, and people and work I do here from the conscious, real perspective of who I am, and where I’ve come from. It gives certain depth to my missionary existence, allowing past options and experiences shine their light on present concerns, even birthing new hopes.

The other catalyst for my Irish memory was a spirituality day I gave for two schools on the Gold Coast – St Kevin’s and St Brigid’s – on Celtic spirituality: a very blessed day, not least because of their openness and thirst for understanding but also because it allowed me re-explore the foundations of who I am and how I understand things: the world of meaning that gave birth to me!





           (Letters M and H of the Book of Kells)




Why I wear a celtic cross…
Why I love running water and stone







And strong, gentle women (St Brigid at the Irish college in Rome) 



















And men St Kevin













And why The Deer’s Cry is still one of my favourite prayers and songs.

It is the groundedness of all things that stays with me… the beauty of every small, particular thing. And that God’s touching us is always in and through matter, the world, each other – through which we are called ever deeper into the One in whom we live and move and have our being (Acts 17:28).

Achainím ort tríd an uisce
Is tríd an aer glan anfach.
Achainím ort tríd an tine,
Achainím ort tríd an talamh.
From Seán Ó Duinn, “Some dimensions of Early Irish Piety”, Anáil Dé, 90.


I beseech you [O God] through water
And through the pure stormy air,
I beseech you through fire
I beseech you through earth…


Breathing in again the unique smell of freshly cut grass!