Saturday, 17 June 2017

The Other Side (a Compelling Destination or an Intriguing Journey?)

The morning held excitement and anticipation as I waited for the bus in order to board. Was this a bus that would whisk me off to exotic destinations? Well it was, none other than one of the Ulsterbus Foyle services - city bus for Derry, Northern Ireland. One pound - sixty purchases me a round trip ticket to unknown adventure!

Before leaving the bed and breakfast there was a quest of sorts determining what bus might go to my intended destination. I had in mind to go to a "retail park" that was what would have been a fairly substantial walk, but as I really didn't know where I was going; I thought I'd investigate the bus option, and save myself a long walk to somewhere other than where I was wanting to go.

I had the name of the centre; and say what you will about "retail parks;" but in this case, one that is large enough to be named on one of the multitude of different bus timetables online; was a distinct advantage for someone like me, that is unfamiliar with the overall area. So bingo, now I know a bus goes there. Some of the rest of the info provided wasn't abundantly meaningful to me - but I did know where I'd seen a series of bus stops in town; so that my first destination. I reasoned if I was unsuccessful at locating the bus I could still take a cab.

I had determined the need/want of a portable speaker to use in conjunction with my laptop. Primarily I wanted it for sound to further be able to do some small prayer/healing circles that I had begun to facilitate. The couple I had done so far, I was fortunate enough to have the lend of a speaker from a couple different friends. Bless them for the support of my inaugural circles ... now I wanted the means to set up and carry through, whereever I might be.

I had further learned that it was this particular retail park that had in its midst an large electronic outlet. Hence a mini-road trip. The afore mentioned excitement was actually related to movement. I was going off in a new direction - in the city itself (which is more new to me than not) & in what is presenting in my life). Some "known," some vaguely defined, and some largely completely unknown. I am enjoying the elements of it all, as I walk toward where I believe my bus is to be found.At least there will be other buses there with drivers that might shed further light if required.

On my way to the bus stop - I see a couple of women sitting and so I thought, collecting for a charity of some sort. Turns out they were selling raffle tickets. Not only that, but as I got closer I recognized one of the women. I had met her during my first arrival in Derry on this trip. She was raising money in order to be able to take local folks with either disabilities or terminal illness to Lourdes. The occasion I met her was to be my second "busking session" in town - so I gave her the money I had set aside from the first one; and told her, I was going to give her all I would make this day as well.

When I returned I gave her the day's proceeds and we got talking further about the Lourdes trip. I told her of my nursing/health care worker background and sounded out the organization's need for any "support team." She indicated an interest, gave me her card and said we'd be in touch. I followed up with an email to express my continued interest.

I hadn't heard anything back but as the trip was said to be September, I thought it's early just now. When I was checking into the B & B this time; and catching up with one of the owner's, she had said that she had been talking to "Elizabeth" since I left; and knew all about the day we met, and our Lourdes conversation.

Elizabeth told me that both her and the other woman running the ticket sales table(who said, she had met me, though I wasn't immediately able to recollect)  had been "out of circulation" for various health related issues and that she "still had my email" and now that she had resumed her more active routine again - she had intended to be back in touch with me.
It turns out the Lourdes trip is now been moved towards the end of next month (July). Though it hasn't been "confirmed" as yet, regarding my inclusion - I'm holding to be true I will be. This in itself lends some form to loose time frames I've been considering.

So after exchanging our continued interest in staying connected regarding this trip and my purchasing  a ticket to further support their work (the prize is a trip to Fatima/Medjugorje) - someone's got to win this and it might as well be me!! Mother Mary how can I be of service?

As I bid them goodbye there was now even more energy and enthusiasm with each step I took toward the buses. I love how things weave - how, "hunches" prompts and calls to go a particular direction or connect with a particular person open the most amazing doors. Make an inquiry here, say yes to an opportunity there.  It would seem that's what adventure is comprised of.  Now, I'm not talking about being reckless. But I can certainly vouch for some of the most outstanding experiences, having come my way, with little or no planning on my part. Sometimes within the unfolding of that which was planned. Other times, I will use the word weave again, these experiences are literally a weave, of what previously had seemed like the most barely discernible threads. My "reasoning" mind can at times need to be consulted, consoled and then over-ridden - as to have followed it entirely, would have been to conclude "this is unreasonable!!"

Again, this is not about ignoring signals, gut-feelings, "red-flags" etc. it does entail some entertainment of the unknown and the development of trusting. Notice I say "development!"

You might think after all this build up that I was going to another country. First of all, currently my every step is.... in another country (from the one I've always lived in). And I am going "across the river!!" In times of old in many parts of the world, some folks never left "their side of the river" or  from within the walls of their town. Often times the only cause for some to venture out was to go to war. Certainly those that crossed the river and/or the far mountain ranges etc.were going to experience some form of adventure.

So there you have it.... mine is a more modernized version of this expansion. I submit that all the key elements are there. Leaving the relative familiarly of where you've been, to go to another world ... one you might have vague awareness of (if you get there) others that are completely unfamiliar. Once the decision to go has been cast and a move is made in that direction; there's no telling what might be encountered along the way.

At this place in time I'm delighted to be ensconced in the spirit of adventure. The chronicling of said adventure must draw to a close as I am only roughly half-way through this the realities of this current tale. I still either need to walk 20-30 minutes back to where the bus dropped me originally or carry on walking the direction I came to arrive at this writing/coffee oasis. It's possible the continued walk might get me back to the "city centre" covering the same time and distance I must travel to get back to the bus.

I actually don't know regarding the alternatives... a choice is pending & a continued adventure awaits!!

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