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  • Columbia Hillen

Eggs of being

Those traveling to the remote area of Gweedore, in the Donegal Gaeltacht, sometimes wonder what is there to do. That’s what I wondered myself when I first came here, several years ago. But there was something drawing me to the place, something I still muse about as it is not as specific as I encountered in other places - it is not a beach, an edge of forest or a certain ancient site. It’s more as if the land calls upon one to get closed to it and thus come out of oneself.


So, I got dogs and went for walks as if with a purpose, but aimlessly. Or to just get closed to the land in an accidental kind of way…

Nest of rock eggs in the wilds of Donegal

On one of these strolls I found this small treasure – a vision of a possible answer about why these lands are so attractive to the soul. A sudden perspective of ‘new beginnings,’ of ‘new possibilities,’ all waiting like eggs in a nest to be hatched and let fly. I believe that here, in these parts, battered so often by the strongest winds, we are supposed to BE, rather than DO. Here, the richness of the mystical history emanates from every rock on the beach helping us to remember who we are… or want to be. Here, we are taken by the hand and shown the pictures of ‘being,’ in all its simplicity.


Norman Douglas, the writer, said, “that they who are all things to their neighbors cease to be anything to themselves.” And too many times we are put in the position to try to be so many things just to ‘succeed.’ And that’s why you might cry when coming to Donegal – just like a friend of mine did when she visited here for the first time. And she told me it was the most comforting hour she has had in many years, as she allowed herself to be… non-judgmental. Or you might want to stay awhile, and simply be.


I am sure that the eggs of our individuality are dormant in each of us but we forget sometimes to hatch them tenderly, in the rush of every day ‘doing.’ But how are we supposed to remember who we are? Someone asked me once “who are you?” And after trying several times to describe what I do or what I like or where I come from I realized that I had no answer.


That’s one of the reasons I answered the call of the wild Bloody Foreland, in the northwest of Donegal – to try and hatch the eggs of being… as I am still learning how to put that into words…or in images.


As we slowly come out of this tormenting winter, I offer this image of a fresh beginning set in stone and I welcome all thoughts on how does one answer the question: “Who are you?”

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