A Tipperary Carpet

Rapeseed Crop below Sliabh na mBan

Hubby took me by surprise yesterday as he arrived home from his beloved Co. Tipperary with this photo.
I had been out on some yellow field forays but to no avail and then he, who works in the carpet world, couldn’t resist this view which includes the iconic Sliabh na mBan mountain which is such a symbol of Co. Tipperary and which can be seen from a range of nearby counties.

The song Sliabh na mBan is synonymous with Tipperary and is played endlessly when the county is playing at Gaelic Games and basically at everything Tipperary-related.

Wandering

It can be all too easy to stay on track and defer little diversions for another time. This is especially true if exercising a specified and previously measured distance.

I think, though, that we need to break stride the odd time and see where little paths lead us.

Yesterday, I was lured up a tiny path by the blazing colour and sweet scent of gorse. It was like going into another world, one where birds sing and and the senses are dazzled.

Gorse Path

Ever since, I have been thinking of Elton John’s ‘Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, which was such a hit in my teens.

We have a Yellow Road in Waterford City but somehow this Yellow Path with its supreme bow to natural beauty is the kind of place that I need to make my heart dance.

Coasting in Co. Waterford

I strayed a bit further from Tramore today. I am only inching my way around the county as I want to take savour every old haunt through new eyes. It was Christmas time when I was last out along the Copper Coast when the 5km restriction came in.

It was a gorgeous sunny day today and the sea and countryside looked magnificent. Really, I couldn’t ask for anything more than to live in this beautiful part of Ireland and the World.

This was the view from the cliffs on the Copper Coast looking back towards Tramore.

Sea Pinks on the Copper Coast

And looking south from more or less the same spot, this is the vista that opened up:

Deserted Beach along the Copper Coast

This is the former copper mining region of Co. Waterford and it is hard to believe that this area was once a hive of activity and that the now sparsely populated area was a busy, bustling community.

Today, it was difficult to believe that it had been out of my reach for almost four months.

Old Friends are Best

A really good friend of mine has long said to me that ‘old friends are best.’ and I am inclined to agree with her. It’s hard to beat that feeling that you can say just about anything to a person and they will understand where you are coming from and listen, even if they don’t agree with what you have to say. Also, with ‘old friends’ there is a knowing that either of you can call at any time of the night or day and a helping hand or listening ear will be automatic.

To have even one such friend is wonderful and to have a three or four is to be steeped in good fortune.

This song Amigos Para Siempre always makes me think of the specialness of friends and long-standing friendships which are based on mutual respect , caring and love.

Soaking in Nature

The last few days have been all about being with nature for me and I have spent hours just watching birds, waves, flowers, trees …

The Nesting Swans

I’m told by a watching farmer that the cygnets are due this coming Thursday so it’s all very exciting.

The experience of being out and about in lovely natural places made me think very much of the following poem:

THE PEACE OF WILD THINGS

-Wendell Berry-

When despair grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting for their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free

The Heron

Brendan Kennelly

Tomorrow (April 17) marks the 85th birthday of treasured Irish poet, Brendan Kennelly, and I can’t let the occasion go by without remembering his wonderful smile as we passed each other on a regular basis during my years at Trinity College, Dublin. He was always a joy to encounter and his poetry is always a joy to read:

Begin

Begin again to the summoning birds
to the sight of the light at the window,
begin to the roar of morning traffic
all along Pembroke Road.
Every beginning is a promise
born in light and dying in dark
determination and exaltation of springtime
flowering the way to work.
Begin to the pageant of queuing girls
the arrogant loneliness of swans in the canal
bridges linking the past and future
old friends passing though with us still.
Begin to the loneliness that cannot end
since it perhaps is what makes us begin,
begin to wonder at unknown faces
at crying birds in the sudden rain
at branches stark in the willing sunlight
at seagulls foraging for bread
at couples sharing a sunny secret
alone together while making good.
Though we live in a world that dreams of ending
that always seems about to give in
something that will not acknowledge conclusion
insists that we forever begin.

— From The Essential Brendan Kennelly

Time in Co. Waterford

I’ve been making the very most of the lifting of our 5km travel restriction to travel within one’s county.

This morning I headed out to the Waterford Greenway which has been developed from an old railway line and to date it spans over 40 km.

The part I like most runs along the River Suir near Waterford City.

River Suir from the Greenway

Time has been, and continues to be, almost timeless with the pandemic but there is an added dimension to not being sure what era one is in when out on the Greenway. This is because there are so many remants of the old railway line and one can almost hear it echoing along on certain stretches.

The Old Stone Bridge

Today, I was very taken with the way old parts of track have become embedded in the ditch, real reminders of olden days:

The Ravages of Time

All the while, there were signs of Spring everywhere, compared to when I was last out in late December. The gorse with its coconut scent was divine:

Gorse

And, it was a day when it seemed like serious runners and cyclists were in full flow keeping a close eye on their times:

Running for Time

I guess love is pretty timeless too, and I was very pleased to see the knitted heart that clearly has a whole story attached to it still holding firm:

All Heart

Magic in Co. Waterford

Today was the big day in Ireland when the 5km restriction lifted to allow travel within our county.

I went to my old haunt, The Anne Valley, on the Copper Coast. It was divine and I spent a good deal of time watching the precious swans out there. The main pair have built their nest so all seems well with their world.

I had just read a little piece about magic that is on the trail:

Anne Valley

As I was standing very still admiring one of the swans, a woman pushing a child’s buggy passed by and told me that someone wanted to give me a present. An adorable little girl had a dandelion in her outstretched hand and I was quite overwhelmed at her generosity and lovely smile. I thanked her profusely and smiled at the mother before returning to the swan. The mother called out that someone else had a present for me and a tiny tot was behind me with another dandelion.

The wild flowers or weeds to some might as well have been big bouquets they were such a surprise.

Perfect Gift

I certainly plan on keeping a close eye on the swan family which has been such a part of my life for years now:

On Guard

Hopefully, I will get to meet my new found magical friends again who brought such unexpected human joy:

Wildflower Children