01 June 2012

Suddenly Summer

At last the Ash, Fraxinus excelsior
Well! Summer arrived in some style this last week. Ireland basked in sunshine, in warm temperatures; the fair-skinned locals turned pink with delight and sunburn; hardy folk (including a son of mine - well done DM) swam in the Forty Foot in Sandycove in the shadow of the James Joyce tower ; gardens and allotments changed almost overnight; and finally the reticent ash buds opened to the sun.

Thanks BL
This week I found myself a bit stuck about what or how to write. I've been reading back over some of the earlier posts and they do seem to vary: more heartfelt writing in the winter and spring perhaps, and less so now we're in summer? Perhaps because there's less yearning and more doing going on in the summer since it's here: the light is wonderful, the days are long and the garden is growing (well mostly). I can now sit in the garden through the dusk, watching the local pipistrelle dart through the fading light, ears winnowing the air to home in on the tiny flying things it needs. I can watch the daylight fade slowly from the sky and at the same time gently drain its reflection from the pool. I can watch the water hawthorn glow and notice the first blossoms of honeysuckle open to fill the twilight with scent. And with some lanterns I can create warm pools of light that don't interfere with the dimming of the day...

Speaking of which, here's Bonnie Raitt singing The Dimming of the Day, accompanied by its writer, the often melancholy Richard Thompson. The singing of Richard and Linda Thompson was first introduced to me by my brother who died only a few months ago--midwinter--and who's very much in my thoughts as we head into June and midsummer.

While summer was getting off to a good start here in Ireland, we flew off to a few days of a Prague summer: also warm and *very* crowded. The grandeur of Prague is probably well known to most of you, its place as the centre of the Holy Roman Empire; its Jewish quarter, where Rabbi Loew made his golem; its architecture (including a lot of Baroque excessorising...). So: no photos of any of those here, just a few details that caught my eye along the way.
Oh no... not more tourists
After so much culture and crowd, it was home to welcome emptiness and sky: a picnic by a river in the Wicklow wilds. Iz chased dragonflies, we sat by a peaty-amber river on white granite sand specked with mica, the sun shone, and larks and stonechats provided the only sound. Not a bad country we live in...

Wild Wicklow

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