New Year’s Eve is coming close and hence it’s time for me to get ready for our Wishing Stone ritual.
For those who are new to this bridge of mine, The Wishing Stone Ritual began at least ten years ago when son and I went to Newtown Cove out the road and cast stones into the waves with wishes for the year ahead and thoughts of precious people of the year just ending. That first year the moon was full and the sea was all aglisten.
It has become our annual event and not even Covid restrictions can stop it.
It you would like us to cast a Wishing Stone for you, let me know in the comments or via my email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
I know that there are lots of wishes just waiting to be made and we have zillions of lovely stones to choose from.
While I’m not out on the razzle-dazzle, New Year’s Eve is a pretty big deal for me for a whole host of reasons. Lots of key things seem to have happened on New Year’s Eves over the years so it’s kind of etched in my heart.
I see New Year’s Eve as being like a book-end holding in all the moments from a particular year. I took a look at how I started 2016 here on Social Bridge and found that it was an urging to self to Smile more. I’ve tried and it does work reasonably well but forced smiles are no good! Here’s the post, just in case you want to have a read.
I made it my business to try and see the sunrise and the sunset of today and, of course, there was the Wishing Stone Ritual.
Here’s how the day looked when it greeted me down the beach:
There was a softness in the air that made it feel more like a Summer’s morning than the depths of Winter. I was surrounded by seagulls and I rather like this photo (that Dad would certainly have condemned to the ‘Dud’ category.) There’s something surreal about it New Year’s Eve can feel surreal:
Now to the Wishing Stones. I’m delighted to report that we are just back from the casting. I had gone out to Newtown Cove earlier in the day to collect the stones for everyone who had requested that I cast one for them. It was really nice to have the time to ‘browse’ on the shore and select the stones which I felt matched the people that I was picking them for. I placed them all in a little nook in the rocks as I collected them. You’d be amazed how particular stones pushed themselves forward as being suitable for the individuals I have come to know through ‘blogland.’ Here is a photo of the stash:
It was like the day got into a sulk at sunset time and it just clouded over and we had no dramatic sunset at all.
Tonight, son, Harry, and I went out to Newtown Cove and cast our own stones as well as those of people from all over the globe who had requested that I cast one for them. It was beyond magical. There was a poignant moment as I cast one in memory of our beloved Paul Curran, who died earlier in the year but who touched the hearts of so many of us here on WordPress. He adored the ocean and it felt so right to give his stone a little kiss of remembrance from us all.
So, the midnight hour is approaching here in Tramore and I would like to wish you all a very happy, healthy and peaceful 2017. Also, I would like to thank everyone who has been so supportive in 2016 in all sorts of different ways.
Finally, may I say, that I still think that we need to Smile, Smile, Smile as much as we can but always be true to ourselves and to others in those smiles. A sincere smile can light up a person’s day …
Here’s smiling at you as I raise my glass to 2017!
It all started as a walk on the beach at sunset with Puppy Stan. The horizon was pencilled out and had me looking foward:
Puppy Stan was in pensive mood and was basking in the here and now:
We couldn’t resist driving out along the Copper Coast just to see how it looked in the gloaming.
Driving along, I was very conscious of the word ‘year’ and how the Irish language seems to capture ‘last year’ and ‘next year’ so much more deeply than English does.
‘Last year’ is ‘An bhliain seo caite,’ literally,’the/this year spent/used up,’ and ‘Next year’ is ‘An bhliain seo chugainn,’ literally, ‘the/this year toward us.’ I love the way the Irish is so much more dynamic and, indeed questioning, than English.
Pondering on all this, I nearly missed the fact that the door of the Catholic Churchv in Bonmahon was ajar. I couldn’t resist stopping and seizing the opportunity to go in and see how it was looking.
The building that is now the church has served a host of different functions as a little notice on the gate post outlines.
It was originally built as a Temperance Hall as drunkenness had been a major problem for the mining company that was operating in the 1800s. A locally based temperance movement led by priests managed to wipe out drinking in 1839 through exhortation by the usecof “Temperance Police.” From 1840, the miners could come tobthe Hall, join the Temperance Band and drink non-intoxicating beverages.
The building was used as a famine-relief centre in 1846-7 and then became a fever hospital before being converted into a church.
The church was empty when I was there and I could feel its past enveloping me. My instinct was to light candles in memory of those who had spent time there in so many different capacities:
Another part of me longed to ring the big bell outside the church to summon all the members of the local community for a celebration of the very last Friday of 2016.
But I didn’t have the guts. Maybe when I am older and grayer and decked out in purple, I will!
For now, it’s time for bed as The Wishing Stones Ritual for New Year’s Eve is almost upon us.
New Year’s Eve is looming so the casting of wishing stones is very much on my mind. Many of you will have read about this ritual that son, Harry, and I started a good few years ago now out at Newtown Cove here in Tramore.
We wanted to say goodbye to the old year but let the sea, which is so precious to us, know of our wishes for the coming year. It was a magical occasion, picking our stones by torchlight; they had to be stones that were the right shape, colour/s and texture for us; and than throwing them with all our might into the waves. We didn’t share our wishes ~ these were between us and the ocean.
Over the years, it’s become part of our New Year’s Eve and we like to share it with people who would like us to cast a wishing stone of their behalf.
It’s our pleasure to know that other people are with us as we make this special journey to one of the loveliest little coves in the whole world and one which has a magnificent and ever-changing selection of stones.
So, please let us know if you would like us to include you. You can use the comment section here on Social Bridge or email me at email@example.com.
New Year’s Eve is one of the most significant days of the year and I can remember practically of them from when I was very young. That New Year’s Eve party that we had when I was twelve ~ I’ll never know if the midnight kiss was a ‘real’ kiss ~ I’m sure it was. It has to have been. Neil Diamond was big that year but it was posters of Jimi Hendrix that adorned the walls and looked great through the dim light of the bulbs my brother painted dark red.
Starting work as a Pantry Girl in a Dublin Hospital on a freeeeezing cold New Year’s Eve in 1979 and being ticked off severely for parking my bike in the Reception area ~ what else was I to do with it??
The New Year’s Eve in 1980 which marked the last day that my beloved boyfriend, who died from cancer, was able to sit up with me in front of the fire. He had only 5 more days to live.
Flying to San Francisco on New Year’s Eve in 1983 for a three month stint ~ a whole new beginning …..
The New Year’s Eve when I was pregnant ~ full of anticipation of what early Summer 1995 would bring.
New Year’s Eves ringing Mother and Dad on the stroke of midnight ~ knowing that they would still be up and expecting the phone to ring.
And this New Year’s Eve ~ filled with memories, wonderment and Wishing Stones.
The sea gulls were all excited in when Stanny and I were out in Kilfarrassy at noon:
We just had to stop to gaze at this wondrous horse looking towards 2016:
The back road from Waterford to Tramore (the Ballinamona Road) ~ always catches me with its beauty and it was full of questions about comings and goings today and, indeed, it begged me to just STOP and take it all in:
Time to witness the last sunset of 2015 and it had to be from Tramore Beach ~ my beach:
Harry and I are just back from casting the Wishing Stones. We chatted, we laughed, we picked the stones ever so carefully, we laughed, smiled, I shed a few tears, we hugged, we cast the Wishing Stones, we remembered, we wished and we were together ~ mother and son.
I promise I cast a stone for everyone who asked me to. I picked them as well as I possibly could and I hope, hope, hope that they help your wishes come true. I decided to cast one for everyone in blogland, ‘cos everyone, everywhere must have a special memory and/or wish.
Softly calmly, immensity taps at your life.(Jane Hirshfield)
New Year’s Eve is fast approaching and my thoughts are on the Wishing Stone Ritual which my son, Harry, and I started a good number of years ago now.
We head to Newtown Cove here in Tramore as midnight approaches. It’s like a grand amphitheatre and the stones that the tide washes up there are a magical mix.
The Wishing Stone Ritual is essentially about casting memories of the old year back into the sea where they will never be forgotten and picking one special stone which carries with it hopes and dreams for the year to come.
It is an occasion full of emotion as each year is made up of such a mixture of moments ~ from the heartbreaking to the heartmelting and beyond.
If you would like me to cast a Wishing Stone for you in memory of someone/thing from 2015 or as a wish for 2016, please let me know either here or, if you prefer, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d be delighted to have you with us in our thoughts as we pick stones that we feel would be appropriate to you.
Puppy Stan woke me this morning in what seemed like the dead of night and he and I headed out into the darkness to meet the softest misty rain and a gentle breeze. As he tugged me to the corner of our road, I caught sight of the barest first glimmerings of today.
The blinds of dawn were being eased up by the gentlest of hands as if giving us time to run home, grab car and camera and answer the call of the waves.
The drama that unfolded was magical ~ never to be seen in quite the same form again, never ever as each jewelled today comes but once.
Out along the Cliff Road, a gull soared in celebration:
Newtown Cove, from where Harry and I will cast the Wishing Stones on New Year’s Eve was bathed in golden light: