Summer holidays

It was only shortly after we celebrated the festival of Saint John. Until then, before Midsummer, the rising of the sun seemed boundless. Merely a few hours of darkness filled the night.

merely a few hours of darknessMerely a few hours of darkness

Then there was this sudden dropdown of light. The light was dimmed within a fraction of time. It felt dramatic. What lately felt like freedom, unlimited expanding itself, changed suddenly. A border was set around that what gradually was acquired.
Summer is over so it seemed to me. In a second I saw the quality of this time of year: freed of any care feeling lifted towards the unlimited skies negating gravitation. Every year anew this happens but did I oversleep the moment just now, I wondered.

feeling lifted towards the unlimited skiesFeeling lifted towards the unlimited skies

fruit of summerFruit of summer

In the meantime summer still is, her quality in tone however is slowly changing. The flowers along the shore, boreens and in the fields are still blooming and even some new ones like the meadowsweet have come into bloom recently.

meadowsweet in bloomMeadowsweet in bloom

The general resilience of before though has vanished. On the contrary flowers and grasses bend heavily under their weight. Others, like the wild garlic are obviously forming seed and in this transformation not only the flower is involved but also its’ stem and leaves.

wild garlic in metamorphosisWild garlic in metamorphosis

Withering and metamorphosing express chaos in nature now. A kind of – in between- time dawns though in the process of reshuffling. The overall atmosphere opens gradually for gratitude to flourish and becomes one of feeling enshrouded and sheltered. Summer is fulfilled herewith.
The setting at this time of year is specific on Inis Meáin. The roads are dominated now by prams and children with their families visiting the island. In colourful clothing they are racing on bikes from up to down the hill and doing their best in climbing the steep terraces without alighting, thereafter.
It is also the season of reunion. Members of island families once set off for countries overseas to make a living, reunite with siblings and other relatives for a vocation culminating in celebrating Lá Fhéil’ Lúnasa festival or the feast of Autumn here on the island.
Summer holidays. Freed of any care, happily reunite with one another.

freed of any careFreed of any care

Slán go fóill,
Elisabeth from Inis Meáin

Oíche agus Lá Fhéil’ tSin Seáin

In tense anticipation we are, every year anew. Will the weather be with us? Will it be possible to have the celebration of the Tine Chnámh , literarily the fire of the bone or bonfire at Saint Johns’ Eve, the way it is loved to be celebrated? Please let it be.

MidsummerMidsummer

And of course it happened but differently. During the day a lot of movement is going on; back and forth islanders are dragging with big stumps of wood, pellets and anything bad enough for keeping and good enough for getting rid of. The heap on top of the existing pile of stones is growing and growing. But also more or less inside the hillock, food for the fire is brought to.

Saint John the Baptist(1)Saint John the Baptist

Although the wind strengthens during the course of the day it stays dry and the forecast is in favour of the festivity. Towards sunset many people are heading for Dún Chonchúir, to gather at the scene. It is just after this moment that a huge fire is realised which makes it possible to be watched from far below.

bonfireBonfire

On the day of Saint John the Baptist, who is also the patron of Inis Meáin, it was hoped dearly that Mass could be read at the old graveyard at Cill Ceannanach, the old ruin from the ninth century but unfortunately, the wind had become very strong and due to the unsettled weather Mass was held in the church as so many years before.

Cill CeannanachCill Ceannanach

The bonfire can be considered as a means of getting rid of what is superfluous material on ones’ back. It gives the opportunity of recalibrating worn- out habits providing space for new ideas. The wind delivered his contribution the following day.

and off you start in lifeAnd off you go in life

Slán go fóill,
Elisabeth from Inis Meáin

The glory of summer on Inis Meáin

Heavy of the seeds which are fulfilled, the grasses bend for the refrigerant wind. Audible is the humming of insects.

fulfilledFulfilled

Beyond measure I reckon the sky above me. Saturated of a deep blue colour without any trace of white she exposes herself.

saturatedSaturated

The more I watch the sky the more I take interest and unite with her by letting myself go. After a while of observing the sky she becomes a kind of felted one with loosely spread wisps or tatters of clouds.

opposing flowsOpposing flows

When the wind is becoming stronger I even see opposing flows penetrating one another. A phenomenon I actually never saw before.
Weeks of sunshine we enjoy in one ongoing row. Every morning anew the sun awakes us with her comforting warmth. And the flowers on the side of the road and in the fields reach eagerly for any grasp of sun they can take in. They look vibrant with their intense colouring.

tears of GodTears of God

Not only the people though are taking in these glorious days of summer; there is the donkey of course too enjoying extra attention by placing itself in a strategic position, high on a terrace, being able to seduce everyone, if he likes to, passing by. Or the seagull tacking its way through the air while holding the balance.
The icing on the cake however took place only some days ago when I headed for the church to close. It was a clear and fine evening round about sunset that I saw a mavis sitting upright on a wire singing at the top of its voice. It did not seem to mind at all me standing there not far off from the wire. As the mavis uses to imitate the songs of other birds the concert took quite a while and even more as when it finished one tune a mate from further away was responding and this went on back and forth.

Glory of summer

Slán go fóill,
Elisabeth from Inis Meáin

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