Presumably stones were one of the first items here, man laid his hands on, when organizing the land, regarding the huge amount of walls made out of stone there is nowadays.
Stone walls. It is probably one of the most bespoke subjects, at least for the ones who visit Inis Meáin. And of course it is very likely to speak about them; you just cannot ignore them let alone think them away. You cannot put them out of your mind either, because they simply are. They are a vital part in the landscape as a whole. One is hardly able to overlook them for they cannot be overlooked really. Actually, this very ingredient gives all of the three islands body and structure. Through them the appearance of the islands are immediately shown to the visitor who comes in for the very first time. And with them, they will put one or another impact on him.
I love to walk the roads. As soon as I set my feet on them I feel the good company of the stone walls on either side of me. At times of rough weather they provide me a lovely shelter and on a cold, wintry day there is a lee for me in stock. Not only at those moments though am I grateful to the islanders, long before our time, who used their creativity and energy to metamorphose a huge amount of stones into a variety of artistic and functional walls. It is due to their presence as well I feel moral support is given to me while I am going my way.
The other day a part of a stone wall at my place spontaneously had been fallen apart. Seeing the various stones lying beside I thought of just picking them up and placing them back. Well… it was not easy at all. Apart from the heavy weight there was something else which made it for a layman like me virtually impossible to replace them I realized at once. With my innocent attempt I had tried in one step to bridge the gap of a long history of deep and innate knowledge passed on by many generations to the next. With this experience of awareness I was happy though.
Slán go fóill,
Elisabeth from Inis Meáin