I wandered around the Franciscan friary of Irrelagh, now known as Muckross Abbey, and explored all its nooks and crannies.
The ruins are incredibly well preserved and include a church with a wide, square tower and fine windows, and a vaulted cloister with an arcade of arches around a square courtyard. At the centre of the courtyard is a beautiful ancient yew tree with a twisted trunk, stretching toward the light.
The atmosphere was serene. Looking for a picture to take I suddenly noticed a couple meditating on the tree. I dared not disturb their peace for I understood what inspired them. Whoever they were, they transmitted peace and I shared in the stillness of the cloister.
Humans have always searched for the meaning of life, at least until Douglas Adams revealed the answer to be 42.
While I can’t offer a comparable answer to life, the universe and everything, I can suggest some thoughts that might help you cope with the human condition.
Be confident in the knowledge I made these mistakes so you don't have to.
- Nobody owns anything. The only variable is how long you borrow something for; a day, a month, five years or till death.
- Tell the people you love that you love them. If you rely on the assumption they already know, you might not get the chance.
- Love and care for animals because they need us.
- Don’t just save up for a rainy day; save up for days that make life fun.
- If you lose your temper during an argument, apologise to the other person as soon as you can.
- Realise that your opinions today will change over the years.
- There is never only one right answer to anything.
- While you’re waiting for a friend to call, they are waiting for you. So call them.
- Forgive yourself as often as you need to.
- On the road, always move out of the way of a tailgater and let them speed on.
Alternatively, you might just want to visit Muckross Abbey's yew tree.