The Wishing Stone Ritual

Stones at Newtown Cove, Tramore, Co. Waterford

Stones at Newtown Cove, Tramore, Co. Waterford

It’s quite a few years ago now that our  New Year’s Eve Wishing Stone Ritual  was born. My son and I make our way to Newtown Cove, just outside Tramore, here in Co. Waterford in Ireland.

We each select the most perfect stones we can find and cast them into the sea. Newtown Cove is a magical place ~ high cliffs on either side and the hauntingly beautiful Newtown Wood just behind.

Newtown Cove, Tramore

Newtown Cove, Tramore

Such a simple ceremony, but one in which memories of the year just gone and hopes for the next are added to the whispering, or sometimes, roaring, waves.

If you would like me to cast a  Wishing Stone for you, wherever you are in the world, just let me know, either in the comments here or by email: jeantubridy@aol.com. You’ll know what that stone carries and the sea will certainly understand.

If this post feels familiar, it is one that I wrote too close to New Year’s Eve in the last few years so I wanted to give a little more notice this time round!

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Vision

Toddlerhood

Toddlerhood        Photo: Frank Tubridy

This photograph was taken about 17 years ago. It’s one of my favourites of our son, Harry, because of the way he seems to be looking towards the future.

We were in that future together this evening when we went to a hurling match  to cheer on the Waterford Senior Team.

I still find it incredible that this ‘little boy’ is now towering over me ~ as he stands at 6ft 3in.

Sometimes, I see a familiar looking person coming towards me and suddenly realise that it’s him.

I wonder where was I when he was growing up?

 

 

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Butterfly Magic

I was out today taking seasonal photographs for hubby’s carpet business and was all delighted when I found a glittery butterfly that matched one of the warm plaid carpets he stocks.

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Just as I was completing this assignment the lens fell out of my glasses so I had to take myself off to the optician’s shop to get that sorted.

When I arrived back into the car, I was totally stunned to find a real, live butterfly resting on one of the samples piled high on the passenger seat.

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Its perfect beauty and softness warmed my heart more than I can even begin to describe and brought me back to a poster I had hanging in all the places I lived during my endless student days. It was this quote from Henry Thoreau.

“Happiness is like a butterfly: the more you chase it, the more it will elude you; but if you turn your attention to other things, it will come and sit softly on your shoulder.”

 

 

 

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Tides of Inspiration for Bloggers

StonesWalking along the seashore is my place of endless inspiration. I’ve realised over the last while that it’s all to do with the ever-changing nature of the sea and the many lines that it offers. These are lines that are full in their own right but which invite thoughts, reflections, words, sentences, paragraphs, pages …..

So many colourful stones with lines ~ not even requiring that one’s writing is straight ~ a perfect art gallery or pages begging to be filled.

And what about the horizon? That line that stretches the eyes and mind and makes one think of the breadth, width and depth of life.

Annestown, Co. Waterford

Annestown, Co. Waterford

And in-between are the waves ~ sometimes only the tiniest ripples, other times massive breakers carrying one along in great surges.

Fanore, Co. Clare

Fanore, Co. Clare

There are times, too, when the huge canvas of the lined sand on a beach like my precious Tramore provides the ultimate inspiration.

Tramore Beach, Co. Waterford

Tramore Beach, Co. Waterford

The certainty that that the sea with its multiplicity of lines is ever-changing brings a newness with every tide that encourages, hand-holds and sets the pen of the heart and mind free like a kite sailing in the wind.

What, oh what, will the next tide bring?

 

 

 

 

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Do You Believe in Soulmates?

Sun

Garrarus Beach, Co. Waterford.

The concept of ‘soulmates’ is one that has intrigued me for years and it came to me yet again this evening as I watched the setting sun.

Are you a person who believes in ‘soulmates’ or is fortunate enough to have found one or maybe more?

 

 

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When Poetry Paints

Trinity College, Dublin

Trinity College, Dublin

There are some poems that go way beyond poetry and, for me, this is one of them.

The earth is blue like an orange

The earth is blue like an orange

Never an error words do not lie

They no longer supply what to sing with

It’s up to kisses to get along

Mad ones and lovers

She her wedding mouth

All secrets and smiles

And what indulgent clothing

She looks quite naked.

 

The wasps are flowering green

Dawn is placing round its neck

A necklace of windows

Wings cover the leaves

You have all the solar joys

All sunshine on the earth

On the paths of your loveliness.

Paul Eluard (1895-1952)

(Translated by Mary Ann Caws)

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Blogging Down the Years

Thoughts of  the unfolding of years are among the Decemebery things that come round every year for me like berried holly and fresh mistletoe.

As I was out walking yesterday, I was thinking of how so much of own’s life can be encapsulated by thinking of the defining events, images, memories associated with particular years in each decade.

This brought me to:

1964 ~ I was seven and we had just moved to Castleblayney, Co. Monaghan. That was a whole new adventure and it was the last year in which all five of us (Mother, Dad and us three kids) were together as a family as my sister headed off to boarding school in 1965.  Being insulated by a warm, warm family is what stands out most as well as the arrival of our very first television in time for Christmas.

Running Free Photo: Frank Tubridy

Running Free
Photo: Frank Tubridy

1974: I did my Leaving Certificate in 1974 by which time we were living in Drogheda, Co. Louth.  It was a year of turmoil in quite a lot of ways and the Troubles in Northern Ireland were a huge worry.

I had placed all my hopes on pursuing a career in tennis but a serious wrist injury put all that on hold.  I had deferred taking up a university place in the hope that summer surgery would rectify the problem but by the December it was clear that a career in tennis was out of the question. That was the year I began learning to drive and it was also the year that my sister and I were re-united as she came back ‘home’ to teach in the school that I had just left.  It was all a bit of a social whirl with big sis as ‘chaperone!’

The song I played over and over in 1974 was this one:

1984: This was a year in which I was still reeling from the death from cancer of my long-time boyfriend from cancer in 1981.

I was ensconced in Trinity College, where I had embarked on a PhD on the experiences of people with physical disabilities in Ireland and I was also very busy working as a researcher on an exciting EU project in the Midlands about the  integration of people with disabilities into society.

Tennis was back on the agenda and I simply adored being able to compete again after all the missed years.

Weather-Beaten Photo: Frank Tubridy

Weather-Beaten
Photo: Frank Tubridy

1994: Undoubtedly the highlight of 1994 was pregnancy and anticipation of motherhood.

That was a year in which I was working in two areas I love: teaching and research and was able to work from home base here in Tramore.

Tramore Bay

Tramore Bay

 2004: This marked the last year that my parents were in good health but they loved spending time with our son, Harry, who was very close to both of them from the moment he was born.

This was a time of major juggling between work and ferrying 9-year old Harry to all sorts of sporting activities.

A major highlight of 2004 was Waterford’s victory in what is considered to be the greatest Munster Hurling Final of all time:

It’s a year I very much associate with my father’s photography and being down in my parents house hearing about their outings to places here in Co. Waterford which they adored.

Curraghmore, Co. Waterford Photo: Frank Tubridy

Curraghmore, Co. Waterford
Photo: Frank Tubridy

 2014 ….. Right now, it’s hard to focus on highlights of 2014 but I certainly associate it with an ever-increasing love of Co. Waterford, nature, the ocean, blogging, poetry and a whole new adventure into the world of carpets.

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And, of course, the new love affair with Stan!

Stan

Stan

 

 

 

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