Reflections from a first-time attendee of Ukilái: A Gathering of Men in Scotland (2018)

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After a steady journey north from Wales, crossing two borders on the way, our group pulled up into the little car park next to an old, typical Scottish granite block building. Schiehallion, one of Scotland’s best-known mountains, looked down upon us. The village was a little walk away, with two huge lochs on either side. I filled my lungs full of the fresh Scottish air, ready for what lay ahead. This was my first Ukilái men’s retreat; now I can say “the first of many.”

We were a mixed bunch of men, all with the similar interest of stepping forward into our world as a masculine expression better equipped with an understanding of our place next to the feminine, and that is exactly what I came away with. The teachings went from morning till night, guided by our sure-footed elder don David Wiley. I felt myself moving through all the emotions, as our teacher maneuvered us along, taking us to that place that he knew we belonged in, a place where we are meant to reside as accountable men. Now, moving forward from my time spent at Ukilái, I feel change. Simple, effective, positive change. Change that I was in need of. Yes, moving forward in life, sure-footed, with an openness of heart—that’ll do nicely!

Thank you, David.

— Simon Huxley
Wrexham, Clwyd, Wales
May 8, 2018