Chronicle of a Stem Cell Transplant (and on through to the other side)

Sunday, September 05, 2010

We're On the Air

Hello out there. I'm back.

Well, I didn't really go that far in terms of distance this summer, but I do feel like I have travelled significantly. More on that later...

For now, I would like to post about other travels. My mother-in-law Edith is currently visiting family in the UK and, as part of her trip, has decided to visit the Callanish Stones on the remote Isle of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland.

The stone circle at Callanish is believed to be more than 5000 years old and is considered by many to be one of the world's most sacred sites. The purpose and use of the stones has been much speculated upon, but it is generally agreed that it was originally conceived as an astronomical observation device.

Many of you know, of course, that the Callanish Society here in Vancouver, of which I am gratefully a part, also bears this name. The sound of the word Callanish and the beauty, lore and enduring strength of the magnificant stone circle are what complelled executive director Janie Brown (who is also my teacher, beloved friend and a whole lot of Scot in a wee body) to found the Society with this name more than a decade ago.

To be a part of the Callanish community is to know intimately the power and strength of the unassuming circle, particularly in times of illness. I have sat in many over the last four years, at times speaking, writing, weeping, laughing and, most often, deeply listening to the wisdom of those who comprise each unique configuration. That our journeys, individually and collectively, are connected to a lineage that is centuries old, whether we be of Scottish descent or not, is of extraordinary comfort.

So, when Edith graciously asked if she could take anything to, or, do anything at the Stones for me, you can imagine how touched I was. I gave it a lot of thought and, not surprisingly, decided that what seemed most appropriate and meaningful would be to have her carry my own small stone to Callanish, to be placed amongst the standing giants.

Prior to its journey, the stone I selected (from the shore of a beach that is special to me) spent time in the hands of a number of loved ones, each imbuing it with their hopes, intentions and wishes of healing for me.

The morning of its departure, I held it in my own hands and read a blessing by John O'Donohue dedicated to all who struggle.

This Tuesday, September 7th, at 7am (PST) this small stone and the immense energy it carries will be placed in the Callanish Circle, on the Isle of Lewis, nearly 5000 miles away.