In our Autumn 2021 issue, we were honoured to speak to Patricia Fitzgerald, artist and entrepreneur. She designs beautiful mandalas to soothe the soul, and has now released a Healing Creations oracle deck.
Quiet Time Alone
A secret spot is waiting for you.
By Elva Carri
I love people, they’re my favourite. I also love being on my own, that’s my other favourite. I love talking and listening and learning, and I love silence and being alone with my wandering thoughts left undisturbed. Living in Dublin, one of these is much better catered to than the other, to the point that sometimes I wonder how there isn’t a single ‘silent café’ here. I’m not sure that’s even a thing, but if it isn’t, it ought to be. But not to worry, a quiet space is waiting, not too far from here.
Glenstal Abbey have long run a guesthouse that offers a peaceful atmosphere, with evening supper taken with no talking, but listening to a book read aloud. But they also offer something special for total solitude. Nicknamed ‘The Godpods’, these little capsule-like structures are nestled cosily into the scenery. The rear windows peek into the magical edge of the woodlands and the front onto expansive fields, mountains, trees and big sky.
Guests tend to take a week or more here as it takes time to settle into silence. Sort of like a sound and people detox, the first day or two can take some adjustment – though you can choose to take meals with other guests and the monks. There is no end to the beautiful grounds to explore while there or take the time inside to type away at that book you’ve been writing, paint, meditate or simply wrap up in the feather duvet, on the big cosy arm chair, next to the wood-burning stove and daydream.
Refresh your spirit in nature
In this busy world, more than ever, it’s important to find respite. We need to step out, to find time for ourselves in a quiet, undemanding, supportive setting, away from everything and everyone. “Where to go?”, is the question and Glenstal Abbey is the answer for many people. People come from all over to find calm, peace and solitude attending the daily liturgies and enjoying the quiet and deeply spiritual environment of this beautiful Benedictine monastery.
Glenstal Abbey, situated on a 400 acre parkland estate in County Limerick, offers two very special options for people who wish to retreat from the world. Choose from a stay in its beautiful twelve-bedroom guesthouse with all meals provided, or the more recent additional option of the ‘Godpods’. These two hermitages are set apart from the rest of the abbey and nestled into a wooded hillside, overlooking pastures, tree lines and mountains.
Since February 2012, these secluded hermitages have provided respite for poets, writers, care workers, clergy and others who wish for complete and uninterrupted solitude. The self-catering units are fully furnished with cooking facilities, en suite bathroom, wood stove, and a comfortable chair from which to sit and read, write, or gaze across meadowlands and mountains.