We Arose And Went There ...

A different kind of Bards In The Woods this Sunday. Last March I somehow anticipated that mid to end of July could be sluggish and the last thing people may want to do is go on a walk, so lets go for a Picnic Spot.

I had not been to Trawane Bay on Lough Gill for several years and looked for an excuse to go. It is from here that we can have the closest view to the Lake Isle Of Innisfree, made famous by poet W.B. Yeats.

There is an interesting confusion over the spelling of the name, as in most prints of the poem it is Innisfree, on the signposts leading to the island its Innishfree but on the maps published at the time W.B. Yeats wrote the poem it was Inishfree ... but maybe Yeats changed to spelling so we would not think of the Inishfree Island in Co. Donegal.

Before heading to Trawane Bay, Bridget Foy suggested visiting a nearby Open Day hosted by The Herbalist's Apothecary around a cottage by the Creavylea Abbey just outside of Dromahair. Handily, this cottage is known as Abbey Cottage.

I did not join the Plant Walk, just starting up as I arrived, but now sort of wish I had but I was ready to relax. Instead, I browsed their stalls, their cottage, their apothecary and wee garden full of pots of herbs for people to buy.

This was a place to meet a few known friends and meet a few new ones.

The visit here finished with a lovely vegan meal for all ... and then I was off to a picnic ???

I left for nearby Trawane Bay before the other people at the Open Day as some enthusiasts had marked on the Facebook Event Page that they were coming along. I had pushed the time forward from 3 pm until 4:30 pm to allow for the Herbalist's Apothecary visit, and maybe a cool down if the afternoon was hot.

As I arrived at the Trawane Bay car park, Naula and Ger and their active dog Charlie had just arrived just before me. I was relieved I had left the Apothecary early so I did not miss these people.

We walked together to the spot where we were to picnic.

A lot has changed here since I last visited. There has been a lot of growth, which is always good news, with all of the trees looking so much taller and fuller. The car park signs are getting worn and the public toilets are obviously not cared for like they once were and seem to be on the verge of being overgrown by the trees around.

The signs for The Sligo Way are gone but the route now is to keep going where the "eggs for sale" sign is, even though it looks private. There are three stiles to cross. Well, two of them had gates to open instead.

There used to be two donkeys enclosed between these gates but one seems to have gone and the other in another field.

After three stiles we are on the path beside the Millenium Trees wood, which has really grown. The trees seem 3 times higher than when I was last here.

The pathway down to where we were to picnic is no longer marked and the spiral sculpture, that was once a good landmark for telling people where to come ... has gone away.

The seat, that I was expecting to be central to our picnic, is still there :-) I was never expecting many people to be interested in this picnic so I thought this seat would be ample.

This is truly a lovely place to brood and maybe try to interpret the famous poem.

I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree,
And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made;
Nine bean rows will I have there, a hive for the honeybee,
And live alone in the bee-loud glade.
And I shall have some peace there, for peace comes dropping slow,
Dropping from the veils of the morning to where the cricket sings;
There midnight's all a-glimmer, and noon a purple glow,
And evening full of the linnet's wings.

I will arise and go now, for always night and day
I hear lake water lapping with low sounds by the shore;
While I stand on the roadway, or on the pavements gray,
I hear it in the deep heart's core.

Click this pic below to hear Claire Roche sing this poem :-)
this clicks through to Soundcloud where you click the soundbar to listen

This poem was also spoken out aloud here
and I am amazed a video clip was not made of that?

The lake water was indeed lapping all of the time we were there.

About 30 mins later, Bridget and Andy arrived. Not long after them, Isobel, and following her soon was Charlie Easterfield and her lovely lurcher dog, who quickly became friends with Charlie.

Let the entertainment begin !!!

Isobel shared a stream of her short beautiful poems. She was reading from some books, so she has got them out published ... I will find out more :-) Video clips soon too.

Charlie got us going with some arousing folk songs.

She is an incredible folk singer. I look forward to hearing some more one day. Real hand behind the ear belt it out stuff like early June Tabor but with a lot more edge.

I shared Huathe The Hawthorn, Quirt The Apple and the standard Coll The Hazel.

Fruit, teas, scones and Bridget's home made jam was scoffed ...

... a lovely relaxing time followed .... and nobody wanted to go home ...

... but eventually we did, and everyone longing to come back here soon.

I will return here soon as I forgot to investigate a well I saw an on old map just a few yards from a comfy stone I sat on.


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