The Burren, County Clare
My long post on Ireland won't be ready, so this will do in a pinch. A Happy St. Patrick's Day to everyone. Be good...
Remembering soft rain and strains of tin whistle,
Silver sounds, silvery strains, plaintiff playing tin
I find myself seeking Him in the old mystical places,
In the wild flowers that bloom on Inishmor,* bloom by the stonewalls of Aran,
Honeysuckle, gentian, thistle, and haws.
I see Him moving as the wild grasses do by the sea, in the breeze, on Inishmor.
Purple-headed grasses swaying, tinged with violet, tinged with regret.
I see Him as the silver birch, the young oak among the tamed conifers.
I see Him as the black raven hiding in the green marble mountains of Connemara.
I see Him as the red deer, the silver wolf, on the side of Slieve na mban.*
Cloaked in mountain cloth,
Embroidered with golden and purple threads of gorse and heather;
Lovingly woven by the women of the Gael.
Inishmor is full of walled gardens where wild herbs grow: Wild thyme, bittercress, and celandine.
My land is a walled garden perfumed by peat fires, bejeweled by their embers,
Filled with autumnal fruits: sloes, blackberries, rosehips, and elderberries.
As with the Druids of old, vanquished by the fruit of the Rowan Tree
These memories quicken me home.
*"Inishmor" = Big Island, one of the three Aran Islands.
*"Slieve na mban" = mountain of the woman.
O star-like sun, O guiding light, O home of the planets,
O fiery-maned and marvelous one, O fertile, undulating, fiery sea,
O fiery glow, O fiery flame of judgment,
O holy storyteller, holy scholar, O full of holy grace, of holy strength,
O overflowing, loving silent one, O generous and thunderous giver of gifts,
O rock-like warrior of a hundred hosts,
O fair-crowned one, O victorious, skilled in battle,
--St. Ciaran, Sixth Century