Fellowship in Glendalough

Following the All Hallows SA & S-Anon Conventions, Dublin, 18th- 20th July 2014, about twenty of us booked into the Youth Hostel in Glendalough for two nights. SA and S-Sanon were both represented.

We were blessed with beautiful sunny weather in one of the most amazing spiritual places in Ireland. Glendalough - from the Gaelic “the valley of two lakes” - is renowned for its early Medieval monastic settlement founded by St. Kevin in the 6th century.

Leaving the dual carriageway, the pace of life slowed down as we weaved our way along country roads through small villages. If the speed bumps didn’t slow us down, the daredevil cyclists certainly did.

We departed from All Hallows at 2pm after the convention with the food loaded in the van. On arriving, we enjoyed an evening meal, before settling in to a meeting. Some of us also enjoyed a walk before dinner and some fellowship time.

The following day there was a outline schedule, starting with communal breakfast, followed by clean up and a meeting. There was time set aside for guided meditation. Some of us went on a silent ‘walking meditation’ on the boardwalk to the Upper Lake. Afterwards, there was another meeting. All activities were optional, some members choosing to rest, stroll or chat.

After lunch some of our more adventurous members chose a mountainous route but decided because of the very hot weather (unusual for Ireland!) to retrace our steps and look for shelter. This makes a change from looking for shelter from the Irish rain! Others sought out a quiet cup of tea with a friend or visited the ancient monastic site. After supper, we had a speaker meeting then off to bed.

On the last morning, some prepared to depart while others went on a quiet walk, all by ourselves, following a river up to rock pools. When we got back, it was time to be on our way. Leaving with four in the car and intending to drop off two members in Bray, we decided to have lunch. We asked two elderly ladies for directions to a local Park with shade, as it was getting extremely warm, and were directed to the most wonderful village of Greystones.

On our way the most amazing thing happened - the clouds came down to the tops of the houses - we never saw anything like it. We got the shade we asked for! We enjoyed our lunch sitting outside a cafe at this quiet spot. As we were finishing up and it was time to go, guess what happened - we were once again soaked in splendid sunshine. Four happy members!

We left the lads to catch their train and returned home, very satisfied and spiritually nourished as were all who attended the All Hallows and Glendalough long weekend. The perfect way to round off a Convention.