Anne Herridge

Sharing God's heart through poetry, prose and prayer

Soul of Skellig

As the first light of dawn crept across a clear sky one morning in early July, I found myself sitting spellbound, gazing through panoramic cottage windows in the tender silence at a majestic scene unfolding before my eyes. Far out on the horizon, the Skellig islands appeared to be rising out of the sea mist in a halo of light, like a fairy tale illusion in what felt like a uniquely private and holy moment.

Having arrived the day before in low visibility, the horizon had been firmly hiding its secrets beneath thick cloud, but suddenly here I was in the sacredness of a new morning, with the most unexpected and mesmerizing introduction to the islands that one could ever imagine. In the absence of a notebook or journal to hand, I grabbed an airline itinerary from the coffee table and started to write. The words came without prompting and flowed effortlessly onto the page as Skellig Song, my first Skellig poem, was born there in the soft light of a new day on Kerry’s western coast.

Soul of Skellig is a culmination of loving compositions that followed, from a soul that was truly captivated from that first moment when the islands introduced themselves at dawn, and later when I encountered them more closely on a landed tour, towering majestically through a veil of mist once more like an ethereal vision. From those first precious moments, I knew my heart had been forever changed. The islands are one of those places where the veil between heaven and earth is indeed thin, where an ancient spiritual call, coupled with a profound sense of peace, reverence and endurance wrapped in centuries of history, tugs at the soul and testifies to both the spiritual and physical legacy that has prevailed there for generations.

The book contains delightful poems for everyone, whether you are a bird watcher, history buff, stargazer, ocean lover, adventurer, or whether you are searching for spiritual meaning and enlightenment as the monks and pilgrims who made the journey to the Skelligs many centuries before you.

My hope is that the poems will take you on an enchanting journey, beginning with the first glimpse of Sceilg Bheag, (Little Skellig) at sunrise, through the seasons and centuries, to the nostalgic farewell experienced by many who have encountered the islands through the years.

Whatever your interest in the Skelligs, enjoy the journey! Go n-éirí do thuras leat!

Soul of Skellig
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