I am writing in haste this morning before I depart to learn how to identify butterflies, their habitat and how to survey them here in wildish West Cavan. The topic for the Poetry Daily comes from the #30DaysOfSummerWritingChallenge – the wild wood. Immediately, images of my beloved local Cavan Burren Forest, with its trees, mushrooms, bilberries and glacial erratics came to mind.
Into the Wild Wood
I go out to meet all the tree people to commune with god in their upturned limbs, the canopy the greatest cathedral.
I go out to meet all the tree people who are congregation, altar and pew, their stillness reaching towards the eternal.
I go out to meet them to be prayerful, the trees breathing both below and above, the one organism, earthly, celestial.
I go out to meet my wild angel, to explore its paradigm and its whim, to go out and greet this old tribe, my people.
I go out to greet my ancient people that die and live and grow for clues how we wander borders of the eternal.
I go out to greet my fellow people where wildness and peace are hand in glove as one organism, one world, eternal.
The long light evenings give way to leisurely after dinner walks with houseguests. We found ourselves up on the Cavan Burren yesterday evening just as the angle of light was its brightest before it gradually began to fade into the long twilight. Some summer solstice senryu seems to be in order for poetry practice this morning. We were up in the park a half hour before the gates close at 10PM. After a day of on and off rain the light show showed up a luminous green from the moss and lichen.
Which segues neatly into a photo of Cavan Burren Park’s iconic Calf Hut
Dolmen. Basically, the captstone slipped at some stage to create a
saltbox effect. At some point in the late 18th or early 19th century a
farmer decided to mortar up one end and make it a cattle shelter for the
new born calves.
By twilight we were home for dessert and tea. The guests had an early morning start. It wasn’t dark at bedtime.
I am revelling in the summer solstice light and the full moon’s light. I hope you are bathing in its fey joy, too. We are still three days of the exact solstice and the moon will be waning by then. In the meantime, let the yin and the yang sky dance and bring you delight.
I am not feeling exactly on my game this morning. Either I have really bad hayfever, or I have a cold. This past week I guided local school children on a walk on the Cavan Burren. We are fortunate to walk on land that has been continuously, but gently, occupied for as long as humans have lived in Ireland. Most of these school children come from families with centuries long roots in this place that is very much on the map in the myths told about the first peoples of ancient Ireland.
I was pointing out how rocks and trees were the big story of this place. It is thought that high chieftains were inaugurated under a tree sacred to their clan. But we also have the inaugural stone for Clan Maguire not far from us. The Tuatha dé Danaan are said to have landed first on Slieve Anieran, which is twenty miles or less from them, just over the boundary in Leitrim. The goddess Danu is said to have married Bile, the old Irish word for tree. The school group in Glangevlin lives close to the Belavalley Gap, where the Tuatha’s smith forged their magical weapons. And then, because I have atrocious Irish pronunciation there was a brief discussion between the teacher and children about the word tuatha. Most often it is translated as the people, or tribe, or the children of Danu. But it also has a further nuance, which carries with it the sense of it being the place, or land, of Danu.
Which hit me like a big chunk of sedementary rock off of one of those glacial erratics in Cavan Burren Forest. Which also has its fair share of rock art cup and ring marks.