Life rounded at Céadaoin na Luaithre (Ash Wednesday)

Along your walks

The very first time we met, I will never forget: while I was being busy, getting the tables and chairs out, positioning them in the right spot in order to be well-prepared for my guests to come, you were just about to take the turn of the corner at Creig na gCapaill, the far end of the last built house overlooking the new pier. It was your caipín, your hat, I saw first, rising above the stone wall before I saw you yourself, coming my way. In the slow but deliberate pace, you were walking, leaning on your wooden stick and your back slightly prostrated, you seemed one with nature. Immediately I was struck by your amiable appearance adorned with your head like sculptured in ivory. You stopped for a little while, and we changed some words about the weather where after you continued your walk.

Trách Eacht

It happened many times after this very first one, that we met on the road. Sometimes it was at the back of the island. At other times, it was near Port na currach in the north or at Trá Leithreach, at the old pier. And it was each and every time, that you stopped and kindly shared some words with me.

Towards Trá Leithreach

Once during Mass, I realized it was you who fulfilled the task in ringing the bells before communion and it was you too, out of three, who said the Rosary during a funeral ceremony.
Although it was the same slow but deliberate pace you took over the years, the lengths of the walks shortened gradually and were taken nearer at home. Always though, there was this word of sharing on the road

The entrance of Dún Chonchúir

As the continuation of the walks stopped step by step, so did your attendance at Mass in the church, which gradually came to a halt. During the past year, you preferred to stick to the house, but we kept this word sharing between us, within a lovely and warm atmosphere at the hearth.

First flower of Spring

The number of words we exchanged during my visits decreased until a serene silence was left.
It was at Céadaoin na Luaithre that you came home after you completed your long journey of more than eighty years

Suaimhneas síoraí tabhair duit Thiarna

Slán go fóill,
Elisabeth from Inis Meáin

A glance into island life

Time of daylight is almost rounded and the moon, soon be full, has taking over.

End of the day

Full Moon

With a subtle touch, she soothes nature into a wholesome sleep leaving a trace of lavender coloured cover on the endless slabs of limestone.

Lavender coloured

The day has been a fair one from which anybody could profit. The farmers high up in their tractors were driving up and down the road getting the work done before night time.

Light of Spring

As I could almost hear a sigh of satisfaction going around after the last farmer came off his machine. Peace was mantled over Inis Meáin the moment the birds had finally found their favoured places on the wires and dozed off.

Powerful

With this happening only a couple of days ago, the wind now has changed his mind completely. A strong north eastern wind pipes through the tubes of the iron gates. There is no boat coming or leaving Inis Meáin. It is freezing cold and not a bird let alone any human being is eager to struggle in the air or hit the road.
Concerning the everlasting variability in the weather here, I can’t remember it would have given any delay or even respite for Beartla in charge of collecting the garbage, every single Friday on Inis Meáin for many, many years. Whether there was a storm, rain or severe sunshine which splits the rocks, it was him going down at sunrise on his Honda to collect the cart and go around the houses to relieve people from things they did not want anymore. Thank you so much. Tá muid buíochas díot! (we are grateful to you)

Sunlit

Nevertheless, Spring is. Although the day is clouded there is still that specific sparkle of light, clear and without any history peeping through a layer of clouds giving unexpectedly her shine upon the earth.

Beach

As it just might happen after having visited the island you consider it was not real but a dream from which you awoke at least invigorated and feeling revitalized. After all you have taken in, the hours you were, the adventure could be felt being drenched unawares into a world you never would have thought of her existence at all. It is lovely that you came, being led without really knowing where you decided to go to.

Slán go fóill,
Elisabeth from Inis Meáin

Pure goodness

Almost day by day you can notice the difference; the stretch in the day is becoming longer. And with the prevailing of daylight above the dark winter the three months of winter are over.

Early February

It has not taken long though for this past winter has been rather mild temperature wise and throughout the season there was not much rainfall either. Still the evening during winter is long.

Storm

As soon as the lengthening of the day was only hardly noticeable, some weeks ago, a stretch was also felt in the vitality of the people themselves. It was not only the farmers though who were driving their tractors with verve up and down to the Caladh Mór, the beach at the new pier, to gather seaweed for the fields. The villagers too seemed to have a brisker step and less hided in the collar of their coats. Hibernation has attained a final stage. As through a clearer view the future looks more feasible defined and plans forged at the tine or the fireside, can be put into action from now on.

sunlit

The long-time of Christmas started with the feast of Mairtín, has come to a closure now but her spirit still spreads her generosity at the arrival of Spring. The girls of the primary school here on Inis Meáin use to prelude the season with Brideog, a self-made doll out of straw and decorated nicely in their midst, the girls go along the houses at night time dancing and singing the song of the blessing of Saint Bríde for health to people and animals throughout the year lying ahead of us.

mild

At Candlemas or Lá fhéile Muire na gCoinneal, the day after, the light of the blessed candle will remind us of the Light long since prepared to come into the world with the birth of the child Jesus. With our candles blessed on Candlemas we symbolically set forth to welcome the true Light, with the sincere wish that our lit candles are an outward sign of our inner engagement.
On the third day dedicated to Saint Blaise, our engagement is supported by the blessing of the throat in which we are remembered of the virtue of taciturnity.
Backed with this preparation of goodness we can face the new born daylight half of the year with trust.

generous

Slán go fóill,

Elisabeth from Inis Meáin

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