A Place in the Heart

clarke

A church window by Harry Clarke: Ireland’s – and perhaps the world’s – foremost glass artist

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.

ballin

clarke2

St Luke – another Harry Clarke window, in the church at Castletownshend

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.

castledesmond

statuestat

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.

scene

Rock Art - was it once painted?

Rock Art – was it once painted?

mussels

Mussel beds on Roaringwater Bay

HAPPY NEW YEAR from Ard Glas, on the shores of Roaringwater Bay!

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