Round Ireland with an iPhone: Belfast #3

A day in December past, Ormeau Park, Belfast. The air was crisp chill, the sunlight pale and hypnotic. One tree had bark of a peculiar orange shade, made more surreal by the way a sun shaft illuminated its branches. A bird puffed its body up against the breeze and sang in muted tones. I walked and breathed the mist and light.

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Round Ireland with an iPhone: Belfast#1.

Today in Belfast seemed like the first day of a real Spring season so I took a walk around Botanic Gardens and Stranmillis. Cherry blossoms are everywhere and the bluebells are in full bloom as well, perhaps a little early but I’m not complaining since they’re my favourite flower. Though sunny, the air was chill and I used that as an excuse to do my usual jaunt into the Ulster Museum (so conveniently situated right in the lovely Botanic Gardens). Took a few snaps along the way, hope you enjoy 😊

Rooting for Wild: A Tribute to Book and Film

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I love walking, especially in the Mourne Mountains with my husband Fintan. Reading about walking cheers me too, especially blogs like 30 ways of walking and Rebecca Solnit’s book Wanderlust, as I noted in early posts.

Imagine how delighted I was to find Cheryl Strayed’s book Wild . It is well worth catching up with for the intensity of experience and the magnificence of nature described by this great author. Her references to poetry and literature as inspirational resources resonate with me too, as I’ve mentioned before.

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Tied in with her extreme hike (like most walkers) Strayed found herself on an inner journey as well. Though I’m no real hiker, sticking to a few hours or maybe a day and certainly no camping rough, I too find a form of therapy and restoration in walking. It’s the rhythm of the tramp, the exercise, the fresh air, the daylight, the space to breathe and think and feel.

We caught the movie recently too and I commend Reese Witherspoon- she did a wonderful job and really got the emotion across as well as the gruelling physicality of the role. Wild certainly deserves some Oscars – I’m rooting for Wild.

The wild wood

I love this blog fifepsychogeography and this post particularly gripped me with its magical images that capture the wonderfully liminal quality of nature and even tumble down buildings being reclaimed slowly by the earth and it’s vegetation. The poetry has also distilled the intensity of the atmosphere – I found it to be of much comfort and inspiration as I struggle with some current health problems and with an awful brain fog. Thank you fifepsychogeography, I look forward to more 🙂

From Hill to Sea

Beyond the Hawthorn

.

Beyond the hawthorn, lies the wild wood

“cuckoo, cuckoo”

.

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.

over the threshold

forms and colours

of the Otherworld

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… snake-eye stirs

.

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jaw click, snout

and a slither

of tongues

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.

threat or supplication?

paw or claw?

who  hears the cry

of the wild wood?

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.

no-one here

.

anyone?

.

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.

the oracle

of the wood

whispers:

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… always the leaves

.

Invitation to the light

 .

… always the light

.

 ≈≈≈

.

Hawthorn bushes and the call of a cuckoo conjure up the tale of Thomas the Rhymer a thirteenth century Scottish mystic, wandering minstrel and poet. Folklore tells of how Rhymer meets the Faery Queen by a hawthorn bush from which a cuckoo is calling. The Queen takes Rhymer on a journey of forty days and forty nights to enter the faery underworld.  Some versions of the tale say Rhymer was in the…

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