Before I managed to find my way into the church, I stumbled into a little yard next door.
I opted for the civil route of walking around, it being broad daylight and all, and found my way inside; the front door was open. Apparently it was a church of St. Andrew. (hello, non-Saint Andrew friends who may or may not be reading along, I thought of you and your non-sainty but entertaining ways)
While I was looking about, a lady entered with, I assume, her two children – they spent a few minutes, lighting a candle and saying a prayer before they left again. I realized how self-centered I had been when assuming that churches were left open for the benefit of curious tourists. Of course parishoners would have business outside of mass times. I kept my camera to myself while they were there, not wanting to disrespect whatever they might be up to.
Afterwards though it was fair game.
This beautiful section for Mary took me back to my first experience I remember in a cathedral – back in Santa Fe, years and years ago. I visited a church to Saint Francis, and inside I’d found a lovely lady chapel. I remember how it felt there – warm and calm and welcoming. This particular alcove reminded me of those feelings.
Feeling comfortable with all the feminine presence, I settled myself in the churchyard outside for a while, airing my feet.
I had contemplated actually stopping in Kilfinnane for the day, but after lunching and then a nice lounge in the sun and grass, I felt ready to go on a bit further. So I set to it.
Ok I usually avoid taking straight up pictures of peoples’ houses it just feels rude to me but I could not resist the house of ivy
Buttercups with more buttercups in the background
That sign says “Ballyhoura Bears Walk” and I admit I had a minute where I was like wait they can’t have bears here it wouldn’t even make sense they haven’t enough forest right?” because you see I have in fact met bears before and it was fine but I’d rather not while I’m off on my own you know
Instead I got this bit which reminded me of Channelwood in Myst hello all you fellow dorknerdgeekfriends who know exactly what I am talking about
I mean seriously where are the water switches
Sadly I left that all behind but some nice mountain paths awaited
And a wind turbine as well
Oh and some more crazy amazing views
Of fields and mountains and clouds and light patterns
And some nice roads too
And an exceptionally picturesque gate top I think it could get work as a frame if it so chose but it seems to like it out here in the country living the simple life and all
How long has it been since the last lamb of the day? Answer: Too long always too long even it it was yesterday it would be too long
Glenbrohane’s lovely churchbell and its lovely views
And here was the lady again, and with such a gentle smile, bookending this section of my day with her beautiful face
I sat in the grass and awaited my pickup, surrounded by scenery. I caught up on email, and I basked in the sun and mused a bit.
Today something sank into me in a way it had not, perhaps due to the views I was afforded both behind me, to where I had walked in days previous, and ahead of me, to where I would be walking soon. There is something unique about this sort of journey that one doesn’t get from a day hike, no matter how spectacular. It’s so obvious and yet it hadn’t really struck me at a certain level until now.
I mean, think back to days one and two, the photos I would take from the mountains of the town we had slept in dwindling behind, and of the place we were coming to growing ahead… and then falling away in turn. That… keeps happening. Day after day, and never more clearly than when the terrain affords those views forward and back. I am moving through this landscape in a very real and tangible way that I am entirely unaccustomed to. But I can see it, and feel it. It’s as if I were a needle, working through fabric, pulling a this little electronic thread behind me to bind my experience together. Each day, each step, another stitch, in some larger tapestry that I am assembling, creating a picture I cannot yet see. Each day I pause at the end, and even if I go away to sleep, I return to where I left up, and I pick up the needle again, and I keep sewing.
What am I making, I wonder?