The Beckoning



    There are days when you see a thousand images in just one single place that you flit passed and take for granted on many an occasion.

    This gate on the back road from Dunmore East to Tramore often beckons but I never stopped before to just be there and let it speak to me.

    It speaks volumes and in a universal way.  Yes,  it is in a special place to me but it could be almost anywhere.

    I found myself lured into lines from Irish poet,  Peter Fallon,  from his poem ‘Go.’

    Then go beyond the reach

    of road, lane,

    beaten path, or set

    of single prints,

    deep into the realm

    of stillness.





    Gate of Life


    I’ve been passing this gate almost everyday for years now and I’ve come to love it more and more as it has gradually  peeled back its coats.

    I can just imagine some people wanting to spruce it up for spring but I delight in seeing its rainbow of colours all melting into each other and revealing  the colourful hands of history.

    I’m like this with people too. I want to see the reality that lies behind the make-up; the eyes behind the dark glasses; the joys, fears, loves, losses, passions, hopes … that are so often glossed over with a maskish smile.

    The other thing about this gate that always makes me slow down is its design. It’s certainly not a gate to keep small children in or out. It’s more like a toy aimed at stretching a child’s imagination. I find myself looking around for all sorts of shapes that can be posted in through those angled boxes.

    Or how about sitting on the gate on Summer evenings reading a warm paperback while horses whinny in the fields nearby. I’ve no doubt that children have sat on this gate over the years and waved at carloads of sun lovers who have spent their day at the beach that’s just down the road.

    Yes, it’s a gate with a past and lots and lots of stories to tell ~ just like every single older person in this crazy world of ours.




    Gate of Life

    Summery Me Photo: Frank Tubridy
    Summery Me
    Photo: Frank Tubridy

    Thoughts of childhood holidays flitted into my mind this morning for no apparent reason and I went on a rummage in a box of my late father’s photographs.  The images brought me on a magical journey all round Ireland.

    But, I kept coming back to this photograph which was taken on my grandmother’s farm in Co. Meath. Those holidays were very special as they brought us from living in the middle of towns right into the heart of the country.

    There’s lots of things I love about the photo: the soft white dress and the black wellies; the lovely ironwork of the gate and the way it is reflected in the summer sun …..

    But, most of all, I love the fact that I’m gazing at Dad ~ a man who sought to make every holiday as memorable for us as he possibly could.



    Gates of Life ~ Gatherings from Ireland # 216

    Gate at Mount Congreve Gardens, Co. Waterford
    Gate at Mount Congreve Gardens, Co. Waterford

    Gates have a a wonderful symbolism about them ~ very similar to bridges- and they’ve always been a source of huge fascination to me. Apart from anything else,  I have noticed how many of the photographs from my childhood involve gates of  various descriptions.

    Me Sitting on a Gate Photo: Frank Tubridy
    Me Sitting on a Gate
    Photo: Frank Tubridy

    Needless to say, the event in the upcoming Kilkenny Arts Festival (August 9th-18th) that has captivated me and fired my imagination even further, is one called: Kilkenny Gates: A Hidden Beauty

    It’s about the history, craft  and beauty involved in wrought-iron gates across Co. Kilkenny and promises to be highly informative and inspirational.

    There are just so many kinds of gates ….. and I’d love to know which ones come to your mind ~ be they physical or metaphorical?

    Still round the corner there may wait
    A new road or a secret gate