At the ending of the year we are halfway through our winter adventures in West Cork. Today is a turning point: a transition. Traditionally, crossing over boundaries is rife with custom and superstition. Make sure you let your fire go out tonight, and kindle a new one in the hearth in the morning to ensure good health and good fortune. The Celts noted the importance of boundaries – they divided the year up into four parts: Imbolc, Beltaine, Lammas and Samhain. At each turning point there was a festival, usually involving fire. It’s interesting that our New Year is marked by fire – or fireworks – in many cultures.
At this moment we are right in the middle of the Celtic dark time: Samhain – pronounced ‘Sow (female pig) – in’. This will end on February 1st, when Imbolc begins. Imbolc is ‘the beginning of the light’ – Candlemas in the church calendar. Certainly, in early February, we see the first green shoots of the Spring appearing.
This post is a bit of a reminiscence. A summing up of impressions and emotions through pictures from the last three months. The common theme is colour – whether in landscape or in architecture – because we have found this ‘green’ island to be full of so many colours. Hopefully a few of the photos capture something more, something deeper: an inherent respect in this land for history, culture and holy places.
HAPPY NEW YEAR from Ard Glas, on the shores of Roaringwater Bay!