Who are you, little girl Nano,
child of Ballygriffin countryside,
running in the fields and orchards,
free as the wind in the grass? (Raphael Consedine, pbvm)
On a beautiful sunny morning a delightful bus ride took us on a pilgrim journey throughout Cork City, into Mallow, across the Blackwater and on to the birthplace of Nano Nagle. Many of us had travelled here before and for others it was a first visit. For all of us it was a new experience of being together as delegates to reflect upon Nano’s childhood and the beginning of her dream.
We were warmly welcomed by the gracious host community. In this sacred garden space we gathered together for a meaningful morning ritual which drew us into to a deeper sense of our connectedness to the earth and to the elements of air, fire, and water. In particular, we recall that in the ancient Irish tradition, the embers of a fire, which was lit the previous night by the community, were burning quietly when we arrived. It would be our task as a group to stoke the fire and keep it burning throughout our day of reflection.
Today was a day of solitude, filled with beauty, awe, and wonder. It was a time for pondering alone, and together, the mystery of communion before us. And it was a moment for listening to the sound of the river, to the song of the birds, to the call of the mountains and to the story of a child, called Nano, that has impacted all of our lives.
What more could we say at the end of our day except a prayer of gratitude at our Eucharistic celebration for a little girl who grew here and had a dream. May we all continue to take our place in that unfolding dream.
Submitted by Delegates from Canada: Newfoundland and Labrador Unit