Óiche na gCoinnle beaga (Night of the little candles)

3 wise men

The 3 wise men

It was busy  on the road that night, even despite the unsettled weather. Quite a few cars were passing by. Not in the usual way of heading from “a” to “b”. No, the way cars were used this time was definitely a different one. They moved more slowly now, carefully keeping control of the car. The aim of the journey seemed to lie in the specific moment. For the very same reason as the people in the cars did, I suppose, I went outside too. The storm had subsided for a moment and the sky was covered with stars. When I stepped down on the road I saw in the different window sills of each of the houses around me, twelve tiny little lights of candles twinkling. There was merely place for peace and tranquillity now in the atmosphere. And to me it felt beneficent to be amidst all those stars above me and light of the candles around me.

peace on aran islands

Relative peace

rain on the aran islands

Rain on Inis Mór

Because of the ongoing chain of storms afflicting Inis Meáin, the  past four weeks were more or less coloured by agitation and unrest. Every day and night the voice of the wind was heard in her various shapes. Sometimes when one would think the storm had passed, another one came and took her turn. During the past week though days of storm and calmness alternated. A relief! But still, living on an island there always will be vivid memories too of loved ones who lost their lives because of the sea. Therefore this whole period of time kept being characterized as one of fear and insecurity.

wild sea

Wild sea

aran islands

Trácht Each

storm damage aran islands

Blocked path

Never turn your back towards the sea. Respect the sea at all times. Never try to be the master of the sea.  Words of wisdom every Islander lives with.

Sea at Cathaoir Synge

Sea at Cathaoir Synge

That night of spring tide a lot of damage was caused to the walls surrounding the little fields near the sea. Walls, made out of stones once carefully chosen and put into a proper wall by ancestors just succumbed under the force of the wind. But… there were no people involved, thanks be to God.

flooding aran islands

Innindated fields

old pier inis meain

Near the old pier

Lovely to experience how twelve tiny candles under a clear sky spread their light in the middle of this tumultuous environment.


Slán go fóill,

Elisabeth from Inis Meáin.

Anamchara logo

Anamchara retreat. Click the image for more.

4 thoughts on “Óiche na gCoinnle beaga (Night of the little candles)”

  1. Thank you for your beautiful and vivid description of the storms in Aran. I’m glad to have a window into life on the islands when tourist season ends. You give me a more holistic picture of this wonderful place I’ve grown to cherish.

Comments are closed.