Last week I had the pleasure of visiting Anam Cara, a retreat centre outside Inverness. Anam Cara is a Gaelic word meaning “soul friend” It symbolises a spiritual friendship that is not affected by time, distance, or separation. In the old Celtic tradition, the Anam Cara was someone you could share your innermost self, mind and heart. This soul friendship was an act of recognition and belonging helping us return to the heart of our spirit. The community at Anam Cara have chosen this name as a symbol for the “circle of belonging” that inner friendship which embraces nature, divinity, spirit and human world as one.
I spent two nights there, overlooking the city lights from a wild place. There is something unique about the setting of a retreat centre so close to urban life; a relatedness, an ability to ‘be’ without shutting out the world.
There are beautiful new seeds germinating at Anam Cara, including this space next to the healing room. This wild patch (next to a natural well) will become a healing garden devoted to the divine mother. We hope to make something together for this space, which is already touched by art in the form of glass work on the healing room walls.
The time was slow, reflective and curious. I walked, meditated and got to know the Anam Cara family a little. We spoke of meditation, Buddhism, women, transition and community. On the theme of divine mother, the egg came up as a symbol of new life, inspired by the community’s new members; four gorgeous young ducks.
A return in the summer is on the cards, but for now a small gift made from materials found on site and a few extras from my travelling craft box.