Peeping through a casual day on Inis Meáin

A mild temperature and the sun coming out makes a world of a difference. Like today, outdoor life starts already early in the morning as farmers on their tractors are heading for the fields even before the ferry comes in.

Early

It is not long after that I open the church. A radiance of light comes almost overwhelmingly towards me from the glass stained windows above the altar when I enter the church hall. This token promises a good day ahead of us. And so, it did in all respects.


Radiant

A lovely day ahead

The sun is a magical guide in getting people on the move easily as from above, standing on a higher terrace, I spot boats coming from the south and from the east bringing them in. Some will be Islanders coming home, others might be the – so called- day trippers who just come for the day while another category of people have planned to come over to stay for several days. But, I am sure, all of them feel excitement as I myself feel as well.

Excitement

Where are you heading to

Whom will I meet today, from where will they come and what sort of stories will there to be shared between us? Those are the questions arising, when I open the door in the morning like today… A couple enters the threshold. One of them is holding a case. Soon it is unzipped and I make acquaintance with gentle sounds of a mandoline eagerly coinciding with the atmosphere. Sometime later I am pulled back decades in time when there was no boat service still to Inis Meáin, electricity, running water nor cars for private use. In a colourful way the visitor tells me how he, after labours’ work was guided around the island by pony and trap! Although this visitor left I still am taken back in time when another couple comes in to confess me that they, returning to Inis Meáin after thirty years, were taken aback when they got off the boat this morning: everything on the island had moved…for to realize later, there is the new pier now, to moor. After their lunch, the visitors make me feel being in it when they narrate about the fiftieth celebration of the foundation of the new church (1989). It was a joyful happening, they tell, with the church benches taken outside, sharing together lovely food served by the ladies wearing the colourful traditional clothes. This experience we will always keep in our hearts are their words which I can imagine.

Rough and gentle

Changing

Inis Meáin, the place where past, present and future are included in one moment. With gratitude, I close the door at the end of the day.

With gratitude

Slán go fóill,
Elisabeth from Inis Meáin

Summer in her glory

Saturated blue

Without even a tiny patch of cloud, the sky is coloured of a saturated blue which is also mirrored in the sea below. Although this signature seems sharply drawn, when it concerns the farther distance, I hardly can figure out what I really see; only vaguely I sense some irregular contours of the faraway hills in Connemara.

Early in the morning

It is still early in the morning. The only creature I meet on the road is my dog friend dozing on the threshold of his master front door. When I pass only one eye unlocks for a wee moment to lock again straight after and off he is back into his slumbering. I like to watch him as I am touched by the way he lies there: in complete contentment. He just is. Actually, what I see in his behaviour right now is a reflection of what I experience in the atmosphere of the world around me. When I look beside me at both sides of the road there is joy; every leaf and fruit of the plants show their glorious liveliness.

Joyful

Abundancy

There are the Noinín Mór (big daisies) and there are the little ones, both of them are bright as light in their colour and so is the Kidney Vetch or Méara Muire (fingers of the Virgin Mary) and the Crobh Dearg or Bloody Crane’s-bill. And in their midst the grasses, fulfilled of fruit, bend over in surrender towards nature which has attained fulfilment, her highest goal of development.

Overflowing from richness

A certain period of a seemingly ‘status quo’ will last before we will notice transformation has taken place. It is during this time also that in the Christian tradition we celebrate the festival of Ascension, a span of ten days is given to mankind to endure and to keep in trust we will be touched by the Light of the Holy Spirit and rejoice in one another at Pentecost.

Distinct

Slán go fóill,
Elisabeth from Inis Meáin

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

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