Woodstown Beach, Co. Waterford
Woodstown Beach, Co. Waterford

Peace reigned at Woodstown Beach when I made my way out there very early yesterday morning. It was in stark contrast to the tossing and turning that had marked my attempts to sleep.

The end of August has always made me a bit uneasy as I feel I should be getting all organised and setting goals for the remaining months of the year.  No doubt, this is sparked by all those years of returning to school with newly sharpened pencils and blank copybooks as September loomed.

I’m now beginning to wonder how sensible it is to set goals and targets just because we are facing into Autumn and Winter. Is that a good enough reason to be doing such a thing? Or should we wait for the goals, or whatever one likes to call them, to gently ease their way into our minds and imaginations, in the undramatic, yet inspiring way, that the day opened up over Woodstown Beach before my sleepy eyes yesterday?

The very word ‘goal’ makes me think of games like hurling, hockey and soccer where the roles of both ‘strikers’ and ‘goalkeepers’ are key. We applaud the great goals but we also applaud the great saves.

As I sauntered along the beach, it dawned on me that there is a lot to be said for living in a space where both goal-making and goal-keeping can co-exist.

The nature of this space is peaceful, creative, interactive, vibrant, inspiring …..

How are you viewing the dawning of Autumn and Winter? 

Raw Nakedness

Garrarus Beach, Co. Waterford
Garrarus Beach, Co. Waterford

There are times when nature seems so much at one with me that I can hardly bear it and early this morning at my precious Garrarus Beach was one of those.

I had some fairly deep-rooted dental work done yesterday afternoon  and woke feeling very raw indeed. Puppy Stan greeted me with such enthusiasm down in the dawny kitchen that I just had to give him a gummy smile and succumb to his pleading eyes to go for a walk.

It was like we caught Garrarus before she had time to get dressed. The tide was lower than low and it was like she was doing everything possible to show us her roots ~ her beautiful reflective roots.

Here’s a sense of the wide open, cleansed, untrodden space that welcomed us:

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Tea with the Birds

There’s a specialness about the the hour around 4.30 on a May morning  in Ireland~ a specialness that I don’t often experience as it is usually my sleeping time.

I’ve no idea what woke me but I knew that sleep had gone out for a while. Natural instinct brings me down to the kitchen, where puppy Stan stirs and looks up at me from the softness of his bed under the table.

Flick the switch on the kettle, pick out my mug with the abstract little red birds sitting on a branch, like a choir getting organised.

I don’t know what it is about the pouring of tea from pot to mug but it is one of the most comforting sounds in the world.  As I creep back upstairs, cradling the hot mug, my mind wanders to Sean Dunne’s  poem ‘The Art of Tea’ in his wonderful collection with the cup and saucer on the cover. These are the lines that resonate as I take the first few sips of the black unsweetened tea:

Drink and feel
the soul flood.

It’s pitch dark outside and a sea mist seems to be enveloping Tramore but I can hear the  cheerful chirping of  the birds in the monkey puzzle tree which stands tall just outside my blinded window.

And to think I miss this precious time practically every day of my life.



The Dawning ~ Gatherings from Ireland # 326

I’m sure you all know that feeling of  the dawning ~ the moment when reality strikes on waking. It can be a waking to dreaded realisation that the nightmare was more than that, far more than that – a horror that has to faced, somehow, anyhow.

Or, it can be joy-filled, as on all those Christmas mornings when you know that the day has finally arrived and you sense that Santa has woven his magic, yet again.

When I woke this morning, my first thought was about those Santa mornings  and the red straw shopping bag with frayed plastic lining that I used to leave at the bottom of my bed year after year after year …..  I don’t know whatever happened to the red bag that I associate so much with Enid Blyton books, bath salts, green boxes of six pristine white Dunlop tennis balls,  doggy diaries …..

And what of the precious things that didn’t fit into the red bag?  The big box with the roller-skates I craved; the chemistry set bursting with experiments and danger; Bandit Chase with speedy cars, blaring sirens, highways and fly-overs that were a far cry from the roads of Co. Monaghan in the 1960s and, of course, Elephant who once had wheels and a rope for me to pull but who cast those off long ago as he came to watch over me in the various studies I’ve made my own.

I’m pretty stunned that these were my dawning thoughts today as I thought I had left Christmas behind somewhere but maybe one never does …..