Tag Archives: christmas

Advent

There is only a tiny bit of time left before…

Only some days left

Only some days left

Every year I am grateful for the weeks of Advent we are granted. When I am looking back though! At the start I look upon this period as a long, hardly ever ending stretch of time whilst on the way however I am taking more and more interest in observing the waning of the light. From scratch it only falls back in tiny wee steps but I really get excited the odd time I actually happen to be in it. The moment I am able to see with my own eyes a step is taken backwards.

Waning of the light

Waning of the light

Breaking into the day

Breaking into the day

Some moments later

Some moments later

A new morning has started

A new morning has started

Day by day darkness is growing without any hesitation. Here on Inis Meáin however, with her beauty of that special quality of light, we are granted to have some lovely days in between though. The way the sun fondles her radiance upon the tiny fields as to give us support in enduring.

Fondling radiance

Fondling radiance

On days like these we are open to hear the chirping of a few birds in the ash trees and we can see how they take a bath in one of the cavities of the slabs of limestone. Through the birds we are awarded a peeping insight in spring which is not far from now. With the deepening of darkness the sense for gathering as a community in general seems to grow too. So it is on Inis Meáin. Just before the holidays ColáisteNaomh Eoin, the secondary school performed her play for parents, friends and Islanders. It was according the book “Cré na Cille”, Máirtín Ó Cathain (1905-1970) wrote. This is the best book of Irish literature, ever written, I have been told once. Well, a huge applause for the students in the first place. They really honoured the high standard of this volume with their performance. And of course a big applause too for the teachers who guided their pupils into it and surely gave a huge support too in making the lovely decorations. Míle buíochas!

Even a Christmas tree

Even a Christmas tree

Before the holidays of Christmas really can start there was the yearly returning event of Tae na Nollag, organized again by the students of the Coláiste Naomh Eoin. The students welcomed all in the community hall with a drink and lovely cakes and other sweets to eat. The proceedings of all of these are meant for an organization for charity. SANYO DIGITAL CAMERA   Nollaig shona agus Bliain Nua faoi shéan and faoi mhaise (Happy Christmas and a prosperous and illustrated New Year)! Slán go fóill, Elisabeth from Inis Meáin

Anamchara logo

Anamchara retreat. Click the image for more.

Christmas 2013

It was perfect the way things were placed in time…

rough seas at aran islands

Sea still rough

Weather changed abruptly. With the last storm passing on, it became silent. Not one whiff of wind I felt or heard. The sky broke open that afternoon and even a bit of blue appeared.

sky aran islands

Open Sky

The path leading to Christmas was made free. I heard a plane and later on there was even another one.  In a way, a sigh of relief was felt on the island; there was no doubt anymore whether relatives and friends who were expected  to come home to celebrate Christmas with the family would actually be able to come. The planes brought delayed post as well. While decorating the house with the generously given holly by my friend, some letters were carefully shoved through the letter box.

view on aran islands

Expectantly

And then there was Christmas’ Eve the most heartfelt moment at Christmas. Many stars lightened the sky during the early night.

Following the general rule in Ireland”no transport at Christmas” the life boat offered to bring the priest over from Inis Mór. Depending the weather Mass would be read at Christmas. Thanks be to God the weather was bright the following morning.

christmas view on inis meain aran islands

Christmas morning

Just as it used to be the men gathered at the wall near and opposite the gate, others went inside straight away and everyone found his usual place again. It was a lovely celebration we had altogether.  Carols were sung and played by the students. Contributed readings were said by them as well. Above all it was lovely to meet again as the Inis Meáin community during Mass. And I am sure the spirit of our late priest Father Joe was with us when during communion a beam of sunlight shone through one of the glass stained windows. And with the light of Christmas the core of the chapel was filled again after weeks of loneliness.

christmas crib aran islands

Christmas crib

aran hope rainbow

Hope

Slán go fóill,

Elisabeth from Inis Meáin.

Anamchara logo

Anamchara retreat. Click the image for more.

 

 

Returning of light. Inis Meáin, Aran Islands

Every year again I find it amazing to experience the way light returns after a long span of time. I hardly can wait for this moment. But at the very point in time I think I cannot bear the darkness any longer, light returns. It even seems as if it has beaten the darkness all of a sudden…

sea lights aran islands

The sea lights

The increase and the decrease of light follows a mathematical curve. It is a period of one week during midsummer that the moment of sun dawn does hardly change. This also applies to sunset although this moment starts almost a week later!

Starting from the end of July sun dawn is shifting 10 minutes or more in a week’s time till the beginning of December. Sun set starts a week later, but shows a larger shift up to more than a quarter of an hour during a week in the second half of September.

cliffs aran islands

The cliffs splashed the waves

Although the actual shift in December is reduced to two or even one minute a week, the darkness deepens. People experience this as a long lasting period. Then Christmas arrives. At that very moment a change in daylight can be observed: it is as if the veil of darkness is lifted up for a moment. One can be relieved and be helped to endure the darkness which still will be lasting for another couple of weeks. Also the birds help, sitting on the electrical wires, by singing at sun dawn.

From mid January onwards we can encounter a remarkable lengthening of the day.

inis meáin, Aran Islands

Sun , Clouds, Sea and Rocks Inis Meáin

Here on Inis Meáin there is a lovely tradition on the fifth of January which is called Oíche na Coinnle beaga (night of the little candles). All the houses light 12 candles at sunset and put them at the window. These 12 candles represent the 12 holy nights which start at Christmas’ Eve and last till Lá Cinn an Dá Lá Déag (day of the 12) on the 6th of January. Promising flames marking the way towards the return of light.

light on stones inis meáin

light is returning,clearing the stones

Slán go fóill,

Elisabeth from Inis Meáin.

Anamchara logo

Anamchara retreat. Click the link below

ANAMCHARA – INIS MEÁIN

WIN AN ARAN SWEATER