The last few days have been all about being with nature for me and I have spent hours just watching birds, waves, flowers, trees …
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
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
I was fortunate enough to get to see early Spring unfold in magnificent Mount Congreve Gardens here in Co. Waterford last year before they were closed because of the pandemic.
The Gardens have long been my place to wander and soak in the glory of nature’s colours. I hope it won’t be too long before they open again but meanwhile I often take a little look at some of the photographs I took out there last year and that live on my phone for soothing purposes.
I’ve had a thing about war since I was a kid and have vivid memories of a hot Summer night in the early 1960s when I was feverish with chickenpox thinking that there were armoured tanks invading the small town in Co. Monaghan where we were living then.
When the Troubles broke out in Northern Ireland in the late 1960s , we were living just 3 miles from the Border and it was downright scary. For some reason, I seemed to believe that if we could somehow get to the Isle of Man we’d be okay. I think that it was probably because the Isle of Man had the name of having no violence. (Years later, I was fortunate enough to visit it and found it to be a delightful place where peace did reign.)
The rumblings of the last few days about World strife and nuclear attacks have stoked those smouldering embers and today I craved the comfort of nature.
Yesterday I got to go back to Mount Congreve, which is my Garden of Eden. It’s just a few miles from Tramore and has opened again for this season.
Mount Congreve is beyond special to me and it has probably inspired more posts on this blog than anywhere else. It’s a place that stretches back to my childhood as we used to visit when I was a kid and then in recent years I’ve been going at least once a week during the season which lasts from now until we get to soak in the Autumn tints.
I die a little each year when Mount Congreve closes for the Winter and from late January onward I can feel a growing sense of anticipation as I look forward to making my grand return.
The weather was perfect yesterday ~ blue skies, warm sun and the peace, calm and tranquility that Mount Congreve always rains down on me. I can honestly say that if I was told I had only a day or two to live that Mount Congreve would be the top inland place that would call me.
It was so reassuring to reach the lovely wrought iron gate at the end of the woodland garden that has the heart which always warms mine.
The splendour of Mount Congreve is almost overwhelming, especially with the blaze of colour it always presents.
As yet another season begins, I simply have to say a loving ‘Thank You’ to Mr. Ambrose Congreve (1907-2011) for leaving this wonderful Garden to the people of Ireland. What an inheritance!
And here’s how the Temple looked yesterday as it gazed down on the River Suir making its way towards Waterford City.
The Good Friday Agreement of 1998 was a fundamental part of the Peace Process in Northern Ireland.
I simply cannot let a Good Friday go by without giving thanks to every single person who was involved in bringing that Agreement about.
There was a time when it seemed like the Island of Ireland would never see the level of peace that prevails today. It is something that we should never, ever take for granted and it is also something which should be viewed as a beacon of hope by those who are subsumed by pessimism about ongoing violence.
Today has been one of those sensual Sundays when you feel that nature is striving to shock, soothe and soul-search all at the same time.
I guess we needed a day like this here in Ireland with all the upheaval going on in the background as the General Election count goes on and on and political uncertainty hangs in the air.
I had lambs on my mind as I drove towards the Copper Coast searching the fields for new arrivals. The sky looked uncertain as I left Tramore and soon a snowy vista opened up in front of me as the Comeragh Mountains, which look down on the sea, were well powdered:
The sea itself was basking under blue, blue skies and the tall cliffs at Benvoy Beach were in deep reflection:
Near Bonmahon, I found the peaceful bleating and gentleness that I had been craving. It swept me out of time and into a warm, woolly world of whispering and playfulness.