On a cold and windy morning in February we tackled the Sugar Loaf mountain in Co. Wicklow. ‘Showers’ was what the weather forecast stated. The drive out was uneventful, straight out on the N11, a turn missed and a curse echoing around the car. Once the satnav voice declared the turn off was upon us, it was a slow and cautious drive up Red Lane to the base of the mountain and a very well maintained car park with an interesting stone arch entry way.
The minute we stepped out of the car it started to snow. But not the light and fluffy snow you see in movies. This snow was sharp, piercing and excellent at hitting its mark. So we hesitated. Hopping back into the car wouldn’t have been acceptable. We had gotten this far and turning back after just looking at the mountain would have been disappointing, even sad. So we trudged up the Sugar Loaf as a respectful pace, watching every step as the wind lashed snow against out faces. The mist rolled across the top of the mountain, giving it a mysterious air. The higher we climbed the strong the wind blew, as if it didn’t want us to ascend its protected possession. Passing one or two climbers on the way up who looked beaten by the weather and rocky ground we should have taken the hint.
As the snow fell even faster and the wind blew event stronger, we accepted defeat and headed for home, or at least the car park. It’s a beautiful place, surrounded by a patchwork of green fields, snowy paths and dotted with isolated houses. I’ll be back to try again soon, when it’s warmer of course.
First stop – the Sugar Loaf Mountain, Co. Wicklow
I wonder what they are dreaming about, escaping from their present perhaps. It must be a brief respite from the burden of choosing, the obligation to decide about every waking moment. They have changed a lot since I was put in this garden. They walk faster now, talking into little blocks of black and white, blue and yellow slabs of responsibility. They don’t look any happier, just more distracted. I’ve been moving around here for quite some years but no one has come to gawk or exclaim that the statue is moving. Not the devoted, not the cynical. If I could climb down from this misshapen column, I would tell them that they missed wins and falls, songs and rhymes, kisses and blushes. I would tell them they are missing life.
My Innisfree has always been the coast. It doesn’t matter which coast, but just the smell of the salt on the breeze and the draw of the waves is enough to transport me back to childhood, away from the slouching weekday activities. Today I collected shells at Sandymount Strand in Dublin. I could have reached out and touched the English coast. Sadly the clock beckoned and I was whisked back to weekday obligations and adult worries. But I shall arise again and go, next weekend.
Rathmines is a particularly interesting place in Dublin. Just south of the city centre, it boasts a bohemian side that comes out every so often to remind us that it’s not all about designer bags and brunch. Rathmines has a charm that few places in Dublin can claim.
A very successful reader, who doesn’t have many books to be read.