Pure practice in a wild place.

Lys Lily Wild
3 min readApr 4, 2023

My journey beyond the cancer seas.

I’m sat in the library at the centre for peace and health on Holy Isle. The final stragglers of the Volunteer week gather outside the window, all gazing over the sea to Aaron and mulling on the week over tea and laughter.

I'm here. Hidden away from the crowd as ever. Gathering a space, for a moment before another smiling face launches round the door.

Its been a week of flurry. Busy doing in mindful joyous ways with new friends. Helping to get the centre up and rolling for the new season ahead.

I've loved it. Most especially the kitchen literary club with two published authors sharing tales of their stories. And me, joyous to be in the company of the published, and hopeful for my offering to find a similar path as theirs.

That’s the peopling side of the story.

And, if I'm honest at times, a little too busy for me.

At the centre it's all systems go.


I step out along the coast path and magic fills the air. Peace prevails. Pure practice in a wild place. My very favourite flavour of daily practice. Alone on a rock as the wild geese fly overhead honking their haunting calls. Oyster catchers trilling a mating dance at the waters edge casting me into a realm between realms.

Another day I close my eyes, as I perch on a moss branch by one of the many precious springs. The water cascades my soul. Soothing me to my core. I am. Here. Now.

I am alive as I dip my hand into the healing pool and later step with my new friend into a vulva shaped rock allowing the waters to dampen face and clothes. We giggle. Our conversation uplifts. We climb and speak of the peace and of pure practice. Companions over a rocky moor headland.

The cave of St Molaise held me in awe of calm on one sitting. I nodded and smiled at the practicalities of living in such a place. Yes. What a place to live.

White Tara. Shimmering most as I beheld you for the first time. At dawn on my final day I journeyed to sit at your feet. I feel complete.

So many moments of pure clarity in a week here in this place. My joy bubbles like the many island springs. As with life it was a constant negotiation between the busy duties that stitch the centre together and the raw wild depth of what the land offers to those willing to see. To feel. And to be.

No-one leaves here untouched. Though it's my first visit, I don't doubt the smoothing of feathers that happened in my week of volunteering, occurs with everyone who comes.

I deem it necessary to have continued retreat time in this post cancer life of mine.

Time to reflect.

Time to pause.

Time to be.

I wish that for you all.

Step away from the pace and push.

Gather yourself in both your hands, in a moment of natures grace.

A human just being.