Hasta La Vista


My Garden of Eden, Mount Congreve, is closing on Sunday for the Winter. As regulars here on Social Bridge will know, the world famous garden, which is just a few miles out the road from Tramore, is a precious haven of mine.

I’m very fortunate to have been able to visit Mount Congreve every week throughout the season and savour its ever-changing colour and light.


Today was bliss but tinged with a sense of melancholy as I wandered through the walled garden and then the glorious woodlands. Much has happened in the period since the Gardens opened back in March and I’ve done a lot of contemplating, celebrating and pure ‘being’ in this place that never, ever fails to bring colour, calm and awe to my mind and heart.

Here’s a glimpse of what drew my eyes out there this morning on one of those ‘pet’ days that you always hope for as September draws to a close in Ireland:

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Time to Look Up ~ Gatherings from Ireland # 281

This is the time of year when I most often think of Oscar Wilde’s The Ballad of Reading Gaol and especially these lines:

I never saw a man who looked

With such a wistful eye

Upon that little tent of blue

Which prisoners call the sky …

A Moment between Autumn and Winter

The clocks fall back in Ireland this coming Sunday, October 28th and this marks our bridge into winter.  I absolutely hate dark winter evenings and was moaning to myself this morning about the  changing of the time as I drove out to my beloved Newtown Wood, which is a mile or so from my home in Tramore, Co. Waterford.  As I entered the wood, I was still muttering  about how I’d hang on to the hour for as long as I could next week and ensure that I’d fight like hell to  eke the very last ray of light out of summer time.

Newtown Wood is like home to me and I thought I knew its every mood, twitch, shadow, frown and smile. However, it caught me totally off guard today.  I glanced down the woodland path which runs to Newtown Cove and was stunned by the fact that it had acquired a new carpet of glowing gold in the day and a half since I was last there.  It seemed, too, that the birds and the little stream that flows through the wood were in shock too as nature presented me with this delight to my eyes in a breath-taking silence.

Newtown Wood, Tramore, Co. Waterford

It suddenly came to me that the last time I had heard this magical silence in Newtown and felt a wondrous softness  beneath my feet there was in the depths of winter in 2010 when Ireland had its last ‘big snow.’

As I stood  deep in thought and  golden leaves, I wondered how I could possibly have been letting my mind wander hopefully on to spring. Each season, month, week, day and hour has  special moments to offer. The question is: are our eyes, minds and hearts open enough to recognise them?