This evening at approximately 7 pm I was tempted to share with the world a wonderful moment. You may wonder was it a personal achievement? Or perhaps a moment of great pride?
It’s not like I never get to be alone. I’m happily at that time in life where I’m no longer surrounded by little ones demanding of my time twenty four seven, but its been a busy week, with much of my time taken.
So to have a moment to just be was heavenly.
Despite being a rather social person a large part of me has always been someone who enjoys solitude. As a young nurse I loved nothing more than sitting into my car and driving the short distance to the Dublin or Wicklow mountains.
As I left the busy Dublin roads behind I loved to drive the lesser roads, having no idea where I was headed, often ending up on narrow paths with grass growing up the middle. There I’d abandon the car and set off up the mountains. Not a soul around.
Sometimes I brought a walkman with me, listening to Mary Black or Jimmy McCarthy singing of the Ireland I was walking in. In those moments I was completely at peace. No one to worry me and all cares put aside for later.
There was one particular day I’ll forever recall. I’d climbed to quite a height and instead of walking back the way I’d come I decided to venture down the other side. There were no paths or tracks. As I walked I thought I heard music playing. I looked around the immense valley I was walking into and could see no one.
Mid way down the mountain I came to a small stream and as I crossed it and pushed my way through the bushes on the other side I saw where the music was coming from.
In the distance a man stood, alone in a field playing the bagpipes.
These are not an instrument well known to Ireland, nor are they an instrument I’ve ever had a love for, but out there that beautiful day, their sound echoing off the surrounding mountains they were magical.
That was over thirty years ago. Yet there are times, such as 7pm this evening, when I remember that day, the mountains, the view, the piper and the sense of peace.
And I remember what it is to be content.
In case you’re interested this is one of the songs I loved to listen to then and now. It’s called ‘As I leave behind Neidín.’ Neidín is the Irish name for the town of Kenmare, but the song is also about leaving behind a love.