Point of Contact

In the Republic of Ireland we have been released from our 5km exercise zone after six weeks of Lockdown 2. Now this household won’t be racing out to the shops, having carefully curated our personal safety zone over the past eight months – local Dowra Spar and post office, Manorhamilton Supervalu, Belcoo pharmacy and Spar, and Clancy’s of Glenfarne for post office and takeaways. We are basically staying within a self-imposed twenty mile radius from home for essentials. But we took the lifting of restrictions as an opportunity to go and ‘stare at lakes’ over a cup of tea and biscuit and take the dog for a walk in the Glenfarne Demesne. There is a Sculpture trail through the woods. And it is good to get an eyeful of some varied scenery. Of which we have in abundance in the West Cavan and North Leitrim border area.

Today’s blog takes its title from one of the sculptures, one funded in some of the original EU funded Peace and Reconciliation projects back in 2000 (known locally as Peace 1; we are on Peace 5 now. USA, please note that it takes 30 years to undo 30 years trauma.)

Glenfarne, Leitrim Sculpture Trail. This sculpture created by Derek Whitecasein, August 2000.

The sun was bathing country Fermanagh on the opposite shore of Lough MacNean in sunshine. And we were also getting a splendid light and shadow on our shores, too.

It’s 1st December and we are heading towards the shortest of days in our hemisphere, but the light playing with the shade and shadow was extraordinary today. And, thinking of last Thursday’s blog title on resilience, I spotted two spruce trees growing out of a rock surrounded by water. These two baby Christmas trees may never be papermill fodder, but they do speak of what can grow in even the most inhospitable conditions. Even nature is wanting to get the Christmas decor out early in 2020.

They are kind of like Charlie Brown Christmas Trees but even rocks will grow you one.

Today is the beginning of my email e-course 21 Days Journey through December’s Dark Days. Nature certainly showed us how we can have the most astonishing shots of light at this dark time of year. I kept asking my husband to stop the car so I could snap some photos of the rose gold light playing with the mountain and the light. And then, much to my joy, I spotted that hardy upland flowering shrub, gorse. It smells like a mixture of vanilla and coconut to me and it brightens our winter landscape here in Ireland.

At some point I probably will write a poem called “Point of Contact”, but for this week’s poem I have an attempt at a sonnet. My Zoom group was toiling at these this past weekend. And Ruth Padel is right. “Good pattern is hard work.” Maybe once I have written fifty of them I will finally have the hang of it.

The Earth's Heart

Listen...the earth is pulsing every
twenty-six seconds, a slow signal's beat.
A pause. A patient moment. Then. Breathe.
Less hurried than Morse code's dash dot repeats.
Desperation's staccato urgency
is counterpoint to the earth's slow
pulse. And pause. And pause on silent repeat...
its heartbeat a tap through air waves, radio
silence for a further twenty-six beats,
the space between...Can that silence echo?
Is that what I hear in my eardrum's beat,
the thrumming as I speed toward contingency?
Earth is slow. And patient. A lung and drum.
It needs just a tone, content to just hum.

May your dark December days be shot full of astonishing light.

5 thoughts on “Point of Contact

  1. Beautiful photos Barbera , I must visit this place next time I’m over in Leitrim..i heard from a GP today that covid is galloping through Fermanagh and from a pharmacist who is furious and maintains that numbers are being underreported.. hard to say because many folks would rather adopt a “don’t ask don’t tell” which won’t help at all.. widespread confusion is the order of the day and it may be the case that many folk manifest mild or nonexistent symptoms but pass it on to associates who may fare much worse indeed.. I don’t believe vradkar was right in recommending staying out of the north … it’s community spread and seeded all over Ireland rather he should be distributing hi quality PPE and encouraging social distancing rather than spreading prejudice and feeding fears…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Really sorry to hear about Fermanagh, where many friends live. It is so close to us and though our GP is in Cavan, our nearest pharmacy is in Fermanagh. The true will be told if ‘long tail’ Covid cases are followed in the next months. Studies only just coming forward from NYC Mt. Sinai Hospital.


  2. Heard on radio today it takes 4 weeks for vaccine to be effective also one can still contract covid albeit a milder form of it .. ( no mention if vaccine prevents long covid) and according to internet sources regular boaster doses may be required and one may be capable of spreading covid even after vaccine.. seems to me to be a backup to masking and social distancing and no manna from heaven..

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Indeed we are Barbara, the vaccine apparently now only confers 3 months protection and will be late March before its rolled out.. from what I can grasp it will be outdoor meetings masked with friends hardly ideal but better than nothing I suppose..


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