Monday, September 20, 2010

This ''tale'' has been so often on my mind the I need to share it. I even wrote about in a journal which Mum, Joy and I used to write in Fethard.

Circuses.....How do you view them? Well, a circus came to Fethard in July 07. Joy's last Summer, a glorious summer, one that never once whispered of death or loss. Joy, my aunt and best-friend humoured me and we went to the circus together. It was held in a field outside the village and Joy, though so ill was so very happy. we laughed at the clowns and wondered at the girls standing on the prancing and cantering horses. Then (controversially, I suppose) came two female Asian Elephants. They did their tricks and I was in 7th heaven to feel the swish of air as they passed. During the interval the Ring Master asked (gesturing at the young children!) if anyone would like to sit on one of the female elephants and have their picture taken. Oh, it is to my shame that I do believe I actually knocked little children great was my desire to be in such close contact with Maiai the elephant. Now, leave it there for the real dream is yet to come....................The day after the Circus Mum, Joy and I passed the field outside the village where the caravans and animals were ''resting'', I literally ran from the car and, finding the 2 elephants grazing in the field, I slipped under the flimsy bailing string and called to the two ''girls''. Something told me I was safe, I can't explain it. There is no explanation. What followed is something I never expected, nor will ever forget. In a field in tiny Fethard-on-Sea, I stood while two beautiful elephants came to me and caressed me with their trunks. I stayed there for at least 5 minutes stroking these immense, beautiful creatures who seemed to be gathering me into a glorious embrace. It was the year of the seal, the year of the elephants and the year of losing Joy. Ah, but what a year. God gives the most unexpected gifts when we least expect them. If I feel sad or weary or just 'fed-up' I can now conjure up the memory of being embraced by two of God's most amazing creatures.

Friday, September 17, 2010

A Bouquet of Thoughts

I love flowers. They give me so much joy. There are so many flowers we don't even really see or notice. In the spring the trees begin to flower and I sometimes lie in a tattered old hammock slung between two trees in the front garden and gaze up at the wonderful green blossoms of the sycamore tree, they are almost incandescent....especially in the moonlight. When we were young we used to pick off the flowers of the common Fuchsia, just at the flower base and suck the nectar out. I suppose that was my first experience of ''eating flowers''. Eating flowers, ah there's a wonder. In spring I love to bake cakes and scatter primroses and violets over the top; then in summer rose-petals, nasturtiums, lavender, calendula even daisies turn a meal into a dream-feast. Imagine a hot bee-laden summer day. A garden with spreading trees. In your mind, place a table (rough and rustic as you like) beneath the shade of the leaves. Find an old white sheet to spread on top then scatter the whole thing with petals.....every colour of the rain-bow. Then find a large, rusty metal container or a simple jam-jar and cram full with the bounty of the hedgerows, honey-suckle, goldenrod, cow-parsley, poppies, dog-daisies and pretty grasses. Hang jam-jars with tea-lights from the trees and place some on the table......wait until dusk and enjoy your own Midsummer Night's Dream. I once made rose-petal ice-cream, it was heavenly and often I use lavender instead of (or with) rosemary when roasting meat. Scatter the bright orange or lemon-yellow petals of calendula over new potatoes or stuff nasturtium flowers with cream-cheese. I would encourage everyone to host or just to enjoy with a friend or loved one, a ''Flower Feast'' by moonlight. You will never forget it and it will gladden your heart for years to come. ''A loaf of bread, a glass of wine and thou, beneath me, singing in the wilderness, and wilderness were paradise e'now'' (Omar Khayyam) All that and flowers too.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

I have a small pink notebook. I randomly write stuff in it, addresses, quotes, scriptures etc. There is no rhyme nor reason as to where anything might be found so I have to scrabble through the whole thing to find anything. The other day I was frantically searching for a phone number when a photo fell out on my lap. It was a grainy picture of my left arm reaching out to a seal. I had taken the picture myself....the only one I remind me of a beautiful friendship I enjoyed for a whole summer. One sparkling summer day in July '07 some of us set out from Kilmore Quay for the Great Saltee Island, more about that some other time. Our glorious day ended and we waded out to the waiting boat to take us back to the main-land Juliet sat on the port-side gunwale and I on the starboard....we dangled our feet in the sea as we sped through the waves. I spotted a seal following us and I dangled my hand into the water, what happened next will always thrill my heart. I felt a pair of strong jaws take my hand, but gently. I hadn't intended trying to touch the wild creature but he had other ideas. As Kilmore Quay came into sight the seal continued, swimming alongside, ''holding'' my hand. I was enchanted. There were in fact two of them but my seal was obviously very old, seaweed growing down the centre of his back and a cataract on one eye. I fell in love. We came and went to Fethard that summer and often returned to Kilmore Quay, I always brought some fish with me and I would wade into the water at the slip-way. Sure enough my seal always came and gently accepted the proffered fish. He would then roll over and let me rub his tummy, then as silently as he came he would slip back into the waters of the harbour. Seals are wild and can be dangerous, ironically our friendship took place under a large sign which read. ''Do Not Touch or Feed The Seals''. I would become so engrossed in our play that I hardly noticed the crowds of tourists watching and filming the ''Strange Irish Seal Woman''. My last visit to the Quay was in late September and when I looked into my seal's old, sad eyes I knew I would never see him again. The following year the younger seal was there, alone. I feel blessed and privileged to have experienced this love. I often think about it and wonder, ''why me?'', then I hug myself and thank God. When life seems fraught, sad or difficult I either wander out to the garden and the fields or dig deep into the well of beautiful memories such as this. Have a lovely day.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

First day of my Blog. It's late and all is silent outside. Thanks to everyone for lovely comments and messages. Outside the kitchen window a "Fairy Ring" has sprung up, large brown toadstools, not quite a circle. It's wonderful to look at. Just above it a large bramble bush is bowed down with rich, ripening blackberries. As we all go to sleep tonight some blossoms will close their petals as we close our eye-lids. As we dream the animals of the night will go about their business, their wonderful, bright eyes seeing through the blanket of night. Tomorrow, God sparing us, there will be other wonders to discover. Haws and seeds a-plenty for the birds and the harvest safely home. I hope you will visit me tomorrow and see what we can find. God Bless.
On the first morning, monday the 5th, it was raining in Fethard. The horses in Cox's field were whinnying and the huge colony of rooks were holding a noisy ''parliament'' in the tall oaks. At the front of the house a pair of grey doves were huddled, hugging in a very small weeping-birch. Blackbirds foraged in the shrubbery bed, running in and out between the plants while the wood-pigeons sat forlornly on the roof. We took the car as far as Wellington Bridge, where the Owen Duff winds through a rush-lined bed. The tide was full and the small white egrets and grey herons were fishing. On one side of the road there was peace, the river, the rushes and fields fading into the misting rain. On the other side of the road cars, 4x4s, tractors and trucks lined the busy country road outside Wallace's Store and supermarket. We finished our shopping and made out way back to the house just as the sun broke through. I looked out the kitchen windows and saw that the back-lawn was made out of butterflies!! Well, almost. Hundreds of bright dandelions had pushed up through the cut grass and almost every one was playing host to a Tortoiseshell butterfly. They flitted and rose like crimson clouds, changed places and settled again. It was so beautiful. Outside the doves and pigeons were drinking from the rain-gutters. It was a though nature had settled in joy over the house and garden, just as the sun shone. I praised God.

The Beginning

This is my Blog for all my friends who love the birds, beasts, flowers and wonders all around. It is also for me. It's my place to record all the wonderful things, big and small that we sometimes take for granted. It's a blustery Autumn day and this is where I'm beginning.