Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Where we might be, where we are

If all had gone according to plan, this would have been our final week in Corrymeela. As I write, the other one year volunteers, with whom we arrived full of anticipation on the North coast of Antrim almost a year ago, are now winding up their year and preparing to say goodbye to the place, and the people, who have been home for the last twelve months.

My thoughts are in Ballycastle this week, perhaps more so than at any point in the last few months. They are there with friends. Friends who are facing transition and change. Friends who are sharing memories and who are dreaming of new adventures. Friends who are about to step out into a future with excitement or with apprehension. Friends who are crying, probably, but hopefully friends who are laughing too. Oh, and friends who are drinking tea. I am sure there will be a lot of tea.

My thoughts are in Ballycastle this week. I however, am not there. I am in the city centre of Birmingham which is just a tiny, little bit different from the dramatic and beautiful coast of Northern Ireland. The fact that my thoughts have, for understandable reasons I think, drifted so often across the Irish Sea these last few days has left me reflecting once again on my experience of the past year.

Today, it is right that my thoughts are with those who shared the joys and challenges of my six and a half months in Corrymeela. But, today, it is also right that I am not in Ballycastle. Today, I am certain of this.

It is right that I am here. Here, with most of the boxes unpacked in a place which is beginning to feel like home. Here, looking back a little bit, but mostly looking forward. Here, excited about beginning a community life even if we have yet to find others to share it with. Here, reflecting on the vision and routines which might help make this new life a reality. Here, wondering if at some point someone might want to offer me a job. Here, with a million questions which don't yet have any answers.

It is right that I am here.

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