Tag Archives: light

Tá coiscéim coiligh ar an lá (the day is determined by the rooster’s step)

christmas arar

Gathering at Christmas

It was in the intimacy of limited daylight we celebrated Christmas, almost a month ago now. The amount of natural light during the day had come until its absolute minimum by then. And during the following week it was kept like that.


And …it felt comfortable. It was just lovely to spent much time inside, in the house. Being curled up in a chair at the fire place  I felt the comforting warmth of the coal fire. While staring into its lovely bright and deep flickering flames it seemed as if I was with someone else with whom I could share my thoughts.

inis meáin aran islands

Point of focus

As soon as caille ( lit. the veil on the day), New Years’ Day, arrived however,  things changed quite abruptly. What I had loved before, lighting little candles for example during the day, did not seem to work out anymore the way I was used to the days before…Was it perhaps because of  the quality of light which was different now?  From a quality of deepest intimacy at Christmas actually, the light had changed into one of more transparency and clearness now instead of the somewhat mysterious haze which was so lively present  in the light before.

cliffs on aran islands

Beauty of the cliffs

With this change, the closeness of the moment I had experienced before, was broken. It seemed as if I awoke suddenly out of a sound sleep. What had happened?  It was pure anxiety what I felt now and I did not feel like staying inside. Going outside was what I wanted and embrace the newborn light. With this transformation, it seemed light was given back to the world.


Port na Currach

When the days passed on, gradually I grew into the re found balance as light is growing  from now onwards, day by day. Just  as the rooster takes its step, considered looking but determined.

cock on inis meáin

Coiscéim Coiligh

Slán go fóill,

Elisabeth from Inis Meáin

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Anamchara retreat. Click the image for more.

Ferries to the Aran Islands


It happened when the day was almost in. The light  was in her waning already when the beams of the sun were radiating the neighbourhood in a golden shine.

light aran islands

Waning of the light

Step by step the buzz  of the day was slowing down to the background. In a field, higher up on one of the terraces, a cow was mooing softly, probably reassuring her calf. There was a bit of commotion already among the birds nearby, while they were finding and  refinding their proper place on the electric wire for the coming night.

In many ways it had been a perfect day. One, I only can dream of. In the early morning there was a lovely sun dawn. A nice day was promised. And this promise became true….


inis meain

A nice day is promised

A lot of people had been  on the move. Not only people from Inis Meáin itself were on the road  but from the Mainland and even beyond as well. From all sides I heard different tongues spoken and people were coming along the road, passing, and sometimes stopping to come in for a cup of tea and a chat. There were also people coming in with the intention of just having a look insight in what once was…the little shop run by Cáit and the post office where , while you were sitting on the little stone wall opposite the house, waiting for your post to be handed out personally. Only crossing the threshold many memories became vivid again for the people who remembered… And many lovely and thrilling stories originating from long ago, were told, may be even for the first time.

post aran islands

Waiting for the post to be handed out

And then…while I was busy getting in the few tables and chairs from the little garden, there was a modest  cough behind me. An elderly man straight and upright came in, well determined and asked for a meal. I am sure , whatever I would have answered what I could offer, he would have stayed. After his meal he confessed me the reason why he came in…it was the buailte or dot, above the g of tigh and c of Cháit written on the front door!

door aran islands tigh chait

Tigh Cháit

Tigh Cháit

In former days, this dot was generally used instead of the h, which was taught later on.

Slán go fóill,

Elisabeth from Inis Meáin.

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Anamchara retreat. Click the image for more.


Bright and dark

Even on Inis Meáin… !

A very remarkable phenomenon here on the island is the light. The impact of its brightness and transparency on a  clear day, like it is today, is intense! So much the more it is hard to believe that during the past few days there was sheer darkness. For days there was not a single beam of the sun to be seen! It was not just dull weather, no, there was nothing else than darkness during day time.

darkness on Inis Meáin

Of course this time of year the solar arc is flattening quickly and the hours of day light are scarce but still… It can be charming though when it is getting dark soon. It means a long evening. A lot of time lying ahead of you. Time you always dream about during the season of summer: doing things you always wanted to do but…


coast aran islands

breaking waves on aran islands

stone walls on aran island

Summer actually, has another quality than winter has; the energy we are so filled up with during the months of summer, make us feel there is a shortage of time for taking up all the things we like to do.  At the time we intent just to postpone until the season of winter… From our point of view in  summer we reckon there will be loads of time during winter. (so there is, but…) The quality of winter nevertheless is directly opposite: our energy is limited now in actually doing things and what we have in stock, we merely put into reflection. We like to live with our memories now, on what was, on what already lies behind us. It is because of the dorchadas (darkness) I suppose, we use our energy differently. As it is during night time now that we, during this time of year go into ourselves and come into contact more easily with our beloved ones, who already passed away.

Today it was a bright day again and someone on Inis Meáin said to me: an Samhradh ag teacht! (Summer is coming)

picture of donkey on aran islands

The donkey agrees that Summer’s on the way

Slán go fóill,

Elisabeth from Inis Meáin

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Anamchara retreat. Click the image