The final instalment … written about a week after my return to Singapore …
I wasn’t sure where I was going to spend the last few days of the trip but I was feeling the need for some integration/alone time. A nice spa perhaps ? J
But the Universe had other plans … and one morning in Avignon I woke up with the word “Lourdes” in my head. I had no idea how far away it was (that geography thing again J) but it turned out it was do-able and I was quite excited at the idea.
It kind of made sense to be ending the Sacred Feminine journey at the place where an apparition of the Divine Feminine had appeared … and pointed the way to a mystical water source with healing powers (water being a conduit of feminine energy).
And so I planned my “pilgrimage” by train across France and headed off.
I have so much to say about beautiful Lourdes. Of course this is the much venerated site of the multiple visitations to “Saint Bernadette” by “Our Lady of Lourdes” .. said to be Mother Mary. On the 9th visit she showed Bernadette the site of a spring .. which materialised after some digging at the location given. At the time, and in the years since, the water from this spring has been said to cause many “accredited” miraculous hearings.
I am not Catholic (and never have been in this lifetime), but no matter what your beliefs this place is special. You can feel the energy from the moment you arrive in the town. No doubt this is a powerful energy spot but there is also the energy of the faith and hope of so many pilgrims.
If you ever need a big dose of wake-me-up gratitude then head to Lourdes. People with life threatening conditions. Many who are blind. Parents bringing ill children. The elderly. I have never seen so many wheelchairs in one place.
And then there are the carers and volunteers. Human angels everywhere. And such an energy of grace and compassion (as I wrote this paragraph I was watching a procession of volunteers and family members cheerfully wheeling … or should I say leading… their charges through town … in strange wheelchair like contraptions … towards the healing baths).
I visited the grotto/cave where the apparitions appeared and the spring where the healing waters were discovered (photo). I shared a photo in the last post of an arc of light beaming from this area. My hope is that You can get a sense of this incredibly nurturing feminine energy and that it surrounds You too.
I bathed in the waters. When in Lourdes right ? it was definitely not the “birth of venus” experience I’d been envisaging but it was definitely “an experience”. Let’s just say there’s a lot of ritual attached to this bathing that did not sit well with my personal belief system .. but that the bathing itself and the connection with the water left me feeling wonderful.
So an unexpectedly beautiful and poignant ending to a very special trip across the Sacred Feminine trail in Barcelona and the South of France.
I can’t wait to go back !! Who’s coming ? …
Ps the fun continues. When I got back to Singapore one of my good friends told me “The Song of Bernadette” (the story of the visitations) was one of her favourite movies. Another good friend Jane had just watched the movie (what are the odds ? .. It’s an old black and white classic) and offered to loan it to us. When the 3 of us met up for lunch it was only then that Jane realised the connection with Lourdes and my trip. So guess what we watched last night ? Highly recommended by the way. Like I said .. you can’t make this stuff up !!
Thanks for reading .. I have so appreciated the love and supportive comments during the journey and have loved sharing it with you all
Ps See the earlier blog posts to read about the whole journey.