Every once and a while, I stumble upon a place that feels like it is from a different century. Columcille Megalith Park is one of those places.
I heard of Columcille recently, and it was just by chance that the friend I was helping move this weekend lived only 10 minutes away from the park. Since Columcille is over an hour away from my house, I had to visit while I was already up that way.
Walking around the park, it was easy to forget that I was in Pennsylvania. Many of the rock formations reminded me of things I saw while I was in Ireland and Scotland (like the one to the right).
According to the park’s website, Columcille Megalith Park was inspired by the Isle of Iona, which is off the coast of Scotland. This mysterious park draws its roots from Celtic spiritual traditions.
There are two threads of spirituality that have ties to Iona, and consequently Columcille. Iona was known as a ‘thin place’ among the early Celts, where the separation between the heavenly and earthly realms dissipated. Hundreds of stones stood on the island to mark spots sacred to Hebridean religion.
The other spiritual thread is one that probably sounds more familiar to many us. St. Columba sailed from Ireland with 12 others to establish a monastery on Iona in 563 AD. St. Columba and his monastery impacted Celtic Christianity so greatly that Iona became a center for thousands of pilgrims.
I never thought about how much mystery simple rocks can hold yet walking around Columcille I was in constant curiosity and wonder. Yet the park was also peaceful. I felt like I could have spend all day there — wandering, napping, thinking, resting. There was an air of trust and peacefulness in the park.
I wish Columcille was closer to where I live because I would love to go back and explore more. I felt like I walked into a different world.