Today I surprised myself by being drawn to a place I had not been to for some time. It was the local church where at the start of my journey I had visited with my ex in order to attend a Relate meeting. This morning I did not intend to go there and I have not given it a thought for much of the time recently. I suppose I was close and my footsteps just ended up taking me there.
There is a peaceful mural / painting on the wall as you enter. The chairs around and beneath invite you to sit and look at it. Its a view of the island of Iona and the tall stone cross, a symbol to the arrival of faith to that part of the world a long time ago. My days have been busy lately and so I must have been looking for this peaceful break. So I tried to think of nothing much for a few moments and just breath deeply. Then I knew why I was revisiting. Its because I am still processing what has happened even after all this time.
If it takes thousands of years to fathom the significance of the arrival of faith, I thought, then I should at least allow myself to still dwell on my own thoughts and feelings. I think faith arrived for us as people, in whatever form is right for us, so that we can have these moments of peace in a world surrounded by storms and an existence where misfortune and suffering can visit. The cross looked cold but solid. The light around it was dim but you could sense a brightness in the day to come. I can't look at the mural without my mother entering my mind. She visited the island herself. People go as if on a pilgrimage. She went before she died. Its a place where modern day monks live and where everyone I'm told is welcome.
I will be returning to Relate soon as a result. The meeting(s) will take place on the 2nd floor of the church building with Iona looking on. I was concerned that this might seem to even myself as some kind of endless fascination with a previous torture and that to open the box again might look like a period of self harm or a stubborn inability to "get over it". Even to ourselves we can sometimes sound like a "long playing record"!
I know that what has brought me here just now though was listening again recently to my daughter talk about her mother as if "she died". I knew that this was exactly how I had felt and I told my girl that I felt the same. So my grieving opened another wound and each time it heals the whole of me gets stronger. The relate visit is partly for myself and this process but I am also still researching the surrounding circumstances if you like and I already have learnt so much I think about all of it.