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Monday, 6 July 2015

We Did Arise And Go To Innisfree

Sunday, July 5th, we were to meet up in Sligo to go on a boat to the Lake Isle Of Innisfree. Friday afternoon check up of weather forecast showed a map of a horrific weather depression heading our way to land on us Sunday afternoon.

photo by Bee Smith

I panicked, let's get Sunday morning, as forecast was great then, but some could not join us. Ok, how about Saturday? About half the people coming along could not change to Saturday afternoon.

One last tree, how about 5pm Sunday after the storm has passed? Well that idea was popular :-) Boatman agreed so it was all sorted.

photo by Bee Smith

Through Saturday, the forecast was exactly as forecasted with no change for Sunday afternoon.

Sunday morning was bright, as forecasted and afternoon no change ...

until around 10 am, all change, the storm forecasted later, so it's round up the boatman and travelers back to 3 pm.

We arrived 3 pm prompt. Sile arrived at the same time, texting Jane here to make sure she is on the way to Killerry Jetty. The three girls travelling together, Jan, Bridget and Donijka are already aboard. Eddie the boatman skipper making sure everything is ship-shape.


Quietly waiting for more people to arrive and enjoy the adventure ...


Gary arrived with friend Tatjana who showed him how to get here.


So why am I waving my hand from the boat?

photo by Claire Roche

Because I had exchanged online comments with Tatjana in various places and seen pics, but never met her yet.

photo by Claire Roche

Meanwhile, excited passengers want the adventure to begin :-) ...


So Eddie the skipper casts off and we were away ...

photo by Claire Roche

The Garavogue river is calm and serene ...

              

About to leave the Garavogue River and into Lough Gill


and past this little island, Tiffin Island ...



and past Hawk Island, that looks a lot like Innisfree ...


Cottage Island, better known as Beezie's Island, where we will be with 
Bards In The Woods 16th August, another boat ride. 
You can see Beezie's cottage remains in this pic.


and pass Goat's Island, with Slish Wood behind


which interested some people on board ...


while others wondered what they were doing there ... 


Well into Lough Gill now, and all is still, sun flickering, warm, 
questioning cloud though.


Ben Bulben is looking good from here ...


And now the silhouette of Lake Isle Of Innisfree is in our sights. 
Can you see it?


and we get closer to Innisfree ...


which get some people excited :-) ...


including the skipper ... 


There it is, and we just have to turn into the moorings.


which are here ...


and in a flash the first of us are on the Lake Isle Of Innisfree ... very happy :-) 


More unloading, including a load of wet weather gear, in case we needed it.


More people, to join us, are waiting at the Killerry Jetty ...


So skipper Eddie leaves us to collect the others ...


while some of us explore


follow paths ...


take pics ...


Several of the trees here are quite mature ...


The island is very different to what we imagined. Claire and I have landed on lough islands to be greeted by lots of brambles that need chopping and any trees are small secondary trees like hawthorn, hazel, birch and maybe rowan. Here some major trees grow, as you will see.

First, a water view before we go inland o0n the island ...


And another beautiful view along the shore, with the mainland on the left ...


The Killerry Jetty passengers are on their way to Innisfree!!!  Bee and Tony ...

photo by Claire Roche

And Jane Gilgun, who joins us in summer :-) 


This lovely pic of the 'Sleeping Giant' in the landscape taken by Bee. 
The white strip is his belt. It is Leitrim to the right of his belt and Sligo to the left. 


pic by Bee Smith

I come out of the Innisfree Woods, back to the jetty to greet them ...


They are almost here ...


Cheers of excitement now ... 


And then we all get together for a picnic on the island ...


Tony Cuckson desperate for tea ...



And for dessert its the return of the warm sun ...


So some of us decide its time for a wander around the island ...



or simply meditate within its contents ... 

photo by Bee Smith

Claire at the base of an old Oak Tree feeling a sprinkle of rain ...

photo by Jane Gilgun

Tony is eager to get to the sunny end of the island to recite some Yeats poetry.


And this is where Tony recited The Lake Isle Of Innisfree by W.B. Yeats while May flies and dragonflies buzzed around and the water waves lapped against the shore.

Video of Tony's performance soon ...


Another view from the west end of Innisfree where Tony performed ...


Innisfree means Inis Fraoigh, the Island Of Heather. We saw this heather flowering about a month early.

This also reminded me that there is a myth legend of this island that speaks of a woman called SrĂ­-an which roughly translates as 'creation without restraint', a land formed out of 'sacred waters'.


Jan is always so at home within a landscape such as this


Among the mature trees is this fir, I think a Douglas Fir?


At the south west corner of the island is this rock formation,
an ancient jetty maybe?


Then is started to rain hard, very hard for about 20 minutes, so Gary and I sheltered under this mature and very useful Yew tree.


Eventually, the sun peeked out and we could return to re-join with the others


But where they stood it was still raining ...


But nothing will stop the bards, and Bee tucks in to sharing some of her remarkable poems ...


And Donijka read her funny and clever poem written for today

photo by Jane Gilgun

There will be a video clip of this soon, but for now here is the poem ... 

On a Sunday in July, sure where would you be,
Than trying to get to Lake Isle Innisfree?

But here in the west, nothing's simple or plain.
Our departure affected by promise of rain!

10am, 2pm, 5pm, 3.
Chopping and changing like waves on the sea!

Like a poetry army awaiting the call.
To go 'over the top' before rain or nightfall.

That I'm reading this now, it must surely mean,
That we're here on the island hunting 9 rows of bean!

Lugging our picnic and poetry books,
Sure there's none so determined as Bards in the Woods.

So enjoy the day of prose, food and hugs, 
As we feed ourselves and ourselves feed the bugs!

On a Sunday in July, sure where would you be,
Than here at last on Lake Isle Innisfree

To me this was the highlight of the day :-) 

Anyway, I had a go and I think here I am reciting the words of Mike Heron's 'Little Cloud' song, dedicated to the way the weather was right now :-)

photo by Jane Gilgun

As the rain stops, Claire unravels the harp, beside the huge oak tree, to see if something can be done with it :-)

photo by Bee Smith

For some reason we wandered away to do something else?

photo by Jane Gigun

But it was back to Claire singing and playing the harp. First she sang 'Lake Isle Of Innisfree', then Tony Cuckson joined in for 'Sally Gardens'
 and 'She Moves Through The Fair'.

photo by Jane Gilgun

Then Claire and I performed 'Coll The Hazel' together.
  
photo by Jane Gilgun

Poetry, stories, songs and music session over, the sun came out bright so we did some more sightseeing here before we left ...

photo by Bee Smith

One more wonder for the mother trees here ...

photo by Bee Smith

A few more pics from this very shiny scene now ...


Too beautiful to leave. I ask if we can stay another hour ...


It is, perhaps, interesting to view where we had a picnic here last year, on the mainland ...


and this is what the Lake Isle Of Innisfree looks like from there ...


Sile serves us fruit cake before we leave


Including some to Eddie the skipper ...


Life jackets back on ...


This time I am going to Killerry Jetty and Claire is taking the full boat ride back to Sligo, but its now really farewell to Innisfree ...


and I take a pic of the 'Sleeping Giant' but he is not as sharp looking as when Bee too a pic earlier.


So it is now truly farewell to Innisfree, in the silhouette, as skipper Eddie prepares to return to the island to collect the other passengers and take them to Sligo.


So back in Sligo, here they are returning .... 


Almost here ...


And final farewells and hugs with each other to complete this very dreamy transforming afternoon.


A lovely video of clips from the day put together by Jane Gilgun :-)


I will close this now with W.B. Yeats reciting his own poem,
'The Lake Isle Of Innisfree'



3 comments :

  1. Great post, John. Very moving. Here is a link to a video I just posted on Youtube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bgr032dBSqA

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Jane. I think I picked it up and included in the blog before you posted this. Lovely video and a wonderful addition for our memories of the day. Many, many thanks :-)

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    2. John, I just looked at your blog and the videos. What happy memories. There is nothing like our time together on Innisfree. Thank you for your leadership.

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