In my dreams, I catch glimpses of her, always just out of sight.
At times, when the wind blows gently across the fields, across the wild grasses in my garden and across my bare skin, I can feel her presence.
Her voice can be heard in the rain falling on the slate tiles, the clap and roll of thunder late at night, the sound of a girl’s bare feet dancing on packed clay under Moroccan starlit skies, the eternal first cry of a new born, the rise and fall of waves on a Connemara shore.
When I was quite young, in my early teens, I started having the most vivid 3D, wrap around, full surround sound, technicolour dreams. This was shortly after my first almost fatal asthma attack at the age of ten. The attack came out of the the blue, I remember the world shattering pain, the fight to breathe, my chest being crushed and then nothing.
My mum managed to rush me to my local doctor, who saved my life but in that interim period, I was disconnected, floating in a sea of golden sunlight and then I heard Her. I remember a grey tabby cat with the voice of a beautiful woman calling me home, back to my body. Next thing, I remember I was gasping for breath, a nebuliser mask on my face, the feel of the cold black leather doctors table under my hands and people around me. I was back in my body. To this day, I don’t remember the frantic rush to get to the doctor’s surgery. Lack of oxygen, the body shutting down, shock, all these could explain what happened. Yet, I know, it was She who saved me.
I am not a world leader, a movie star or a rocket scientist, just a girl born in Galway and brought up on the edge of Connemara. A girl on a quest to save the Goddess who saved me so many times.
She is the voice of those of who cannot speak, the strength of an oak tree and all the life it lovingly shelters within its bowers. She is the young, the innocent, the vulnerable and the unprotected. She is the earth crying out in pain, the love that knows no borders. Her name is Gaia.
Our planet is under threat from pollution, violence, war, disease, all creations of humankind. The threat of terrorism is possibly one of the most dangerous yet, as it has the potential to darken our souls and numb our hearts, to turn away from love and to seek vengeance. If this happens, not only do we lose our humanity but hope itself.
Life is all about choices. Democracy and true freedom is having the right to choose how we live our lives. Choice is hope, limitless potential. It is what we fight for, the right to choose.
The recent horrific terrorist attack in Manchester, was an attack not just on the children, not just an attack on a country but an attack on freedom. The people of Manchester in this time of grief, shock and pain choose to come together. They opened their homes to those seeking shelter, they rushed to help total strangers, they formed queues to donate blood and in defiance of this heinous act of terrorism, they gathered to stand in vigil for the victims and to show they will not be cowed into silence.
These terrorists seek to crush our spirits, to destroy all hope and belief in kindness and love without boundaries. They want us to live our lives in fear, to be afraid to go on a plane, to go to a concert or even to leave the house but it is now, more then ever, we need to stand strong. We need to remember what it is we fight for, what is truly important. We need to reach out to one another in love, not fear. Together, we are stronger.
It is almost midnight here in Galway, the weather has been unseasonably warm and our windows are open to the dark sky, to the lights of the city and the sounds of people on their way home. The sea is quiet and I am reminded of all the reasons I love this corner of the world but most of all, I am reminded of the choice. I have chosen Her, Gaia, Earth. I have chosen love not hate, acceptance not prejudice and it is only through this choice, that we can save the world.