Today my Kerry companions and I head north on a little road trip to Ennis in Co. Clare, endlessly chasing the music. There is a gig to attend by a friend who makes this music professionally and a session in the works up the road after the concert. And so, this day will be a traveling day.
I know I am not painting “enough” in recent days but writing feels like the art this week. Gathering imagery and words. Following the threads of inspiration. This is “enough”. Whatever that means.
As I left this space in my last post, I was off to don wellies and wander up the road with my hosts here to visit a bit of bog land that has been a part of their family and culture for generations. The bog road goes well off the Ballybunion road and so traffic, if any, is light, and consists of other walkers and wanderers seeking a bit of quiet time in Nature.
We dodge raindrops and keep an eye on the horizon for rainbows. Of course there are rainbows.
The bog is quiet with only the sound of the breeze, the rain falling, bird song and a an occasional gentle mooing of a far off cow.
Bogs are natural wonderlands, filled with all kinds of flora and fauna for those with eyes to see. Ferns and heather, native grasses and mosses. It is a lovely place to behold.
The silence of the bog is infectious and exactly what I have been craving. I find it interesting that this segment of Brain Pickings is about silence and it comes across my digital path this morning as I build a little blog post before hitting the winding road to Clare.
This bog is a working bog and local folks have utilized the turf to heat their homes and light their hearths for years. This is all now up for discussion nowadays as bog turf holds a great deal of carbon. My companions are gentle stewards of this patch of bog as well as of the land which holds their cottage and grows much of their food. They know this place well and appreciate its limitations. I for one hope that a least a bit of turf can be burned here and there in future as the smell is divine.
After the bog walk, we return to the cottage for a cup of tea and a game of fetch with Pancake, a lovely pup indeed.
I am treated to a bite to eat and evening descends upon us. Tea turns to wine, conversation turns to tunes, just myself and Michael – flute and accordion – and I hear slides and marches which are new to my ears. They are local to this place and I wish for them to be collected and played back home, to celebrate this beautiful quiet patch of Kerry. Mike and I talk about how the old tunes are really the best tunes. Flash and musical prowess are lovely to behold, but there is something so rich and lovely about a few solid tunes in the kitchen with a local farmer. I am blessed beyond belief.
Later I return home, my head fairly swimming with music (*finally!*) and I am reminded of the date. It is the anniversary of the death of one of my best and most influential friends of this life time – Mia. If she could see where life has taken me, she would beam, I am sure. When she was ever so ill, I had just begun on the whistle – awkward and shy about it. But she insisted I play what I knew for her and so I did. She laughed and clapped in delight and told me never to stop playing. I haven’t. I miss Mia on a regular basis and think that perhaps the magic of this special day, from pre-dawn beach time, to a bog-walk under a watery sun and into the evening with new tunes and dear friends may have just been a blessing from the beyond. I am deeply grateful.