I had intended to just post a photograph today and wish all my friends and followers a very Happy Easter. However, when I got to thinking about the photograph I was so determined to present, it seemed only right to explain a little about ‘why’ of this one and its subject matter.
The photograph was taken by my late father in the 1970s in Bulmer’s Orchard, just outside Clonmel, Co. Tipperary. He was a man with a passion for photography and nature and the more I look through his collection, the more I have been finding shots of sheep and lambs.
They bring me right back to all the Easters which we spent at my Grandmother’s Farm in Co. Meath when I was a child. The scene was always one dominated by daffodils, sheep, lambs and love. We would have an Easter Egg hunt organised by Granny ~ tiny little Easter Eggs hidden in the crevices of the big stone wall in the yard and buried in the hay barn where the hens roamed freely.
The magnetism of Dad’s photograph seemed to be even stronger than all that. This morning I was watching birds at the bird-table under the lilac tree in my garden but lambs were on my mind. Suddenly, the missing pieces came to me. A night, very shortly after I had started school. I had five Irish words to learn for homework and was struggling. Mother, who knew very little Irish was in the bath, and I shouted in to her begging her to help me. The only word I can remember being on the list was ‘an uan‘ (the lamb). Mother pretended to get all mixed up about the words and I found myself having to ‘teach’ her as she splashed around in her warm bath. ‘An uan ~ the lamb ~ uan ….. U A N.’
And Mother’s words of comfort for years and years ~ Ah, my little pet lamb.
I suspect now that Father took photographs of every lamb he saw because of Mother’s love of them. So, Happy Easter all, and if you are feeling any way lonesome for any reason, just think of the soothing words, My little pet lamb, and I guarantee you’ll find yourself with a calm smile!