Last month while organising one of the Into The West Blogger Network events, I was on one of my numerous visits to the Ardilaun Hotel when I noticed their garden was in the beautiful phase of its life cycle where its teetering between Autumn and Winter as if between worlds..
The garden full with foliage and colour but at closer inspection, I could see traces of Winter’s deathly touch creeping up on the landscape. I think that when things are decaying and drifting off to another world, they hold a certain beauty of their own. They may not as beautiful as they once were but they hold tend to have their own wise and somewhat weathered exterior.
Here’s what I saw.
Here is one of my favourite pieces of writing on Autumn by George Eliot.
Is not this a true autumn day? Just the still melancholy that I love — that makes life and nature harmonize. The birds are consulting about their migrations, the trees are putting on the hectic or the pallid hues of decay, and begin to strew the ground, that one’s very footsteps may not disturb the repose of earth and air, while they give us a scent that is a pefect anodyne to the restless spirit. Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns. ~George Eliot, letter to Miss Lewis, 1st October 1841
Autumn in Emer’s Garden is always a treat. It’s one of my most favourite places to be.
“Love … is like nature, but in reverse; first it fruits, then it flowers, then it seems to wither, then it goes deep, deep down into its burrow,
where no one sees it, where it is lost from sight, and ultimately people die with that secret buried inside their souls.”
–Edna O’Brien, Lantern Slides: Short Stories
Some shots I took while out walking in the Claddagh recently. The Claddagh is an area close to the centre of Galway city, where the Corrib River meets Galway Bay. It was formerly a fishing village, just outside the old city walls and its history is a depth of fishing and music. It is one of the oldest (if not the eldest) recorded fishing villages in Ireland, its existence having been recorded since the arrival of Christianity in the 5th century. The true heart of Galway.
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“Now she walks through her sunken dream, To the seat with the clearest view” ~ David Bowie
A trip to the Hampstead Heath Pergola whilst in London this past week was truly a treat! Joined by fellow photographer Luke Doyle, we wandered the gardens on a warm, overcast morning, chatting and talking shop (cameras!). The Pergola itself is west of the Heath and is quite a walk from the road. Tucked away behind the big house, it really is undeniably one of London’s hidden treasures.
Essentially its a walled garden, overgrown with vines, ivy and wild with exotic flowers. In 1904 Lord Leverhulme purchased the large estate house on the Heath. He then expanded his estate by acquiring the surrounding land to build the Pergola. It’s said he wanted to hold extravagant Edwardian garden parties there as well as having a nice place to relax with family. After Lord Leverhulme’s death, the Pergola went into a disrepair. Fortunately, this has lead to it having the most beautiful, eerie atmosphere – filled with the scent of the gardens and the character of what it once must have been.
We walked through the park for about a half hour before arriving at the Pergola. When I first saw it I was speechless and in awe of its beauty. Having seen so many photographs of it online (its a photographer favourite) seeing it in real life is quite unreliable. The gardens cry beauty and as we wandered around their walls and vines, we dipped in and out of conversations of history, nature, possibilities and the extravagant parties that had probably taken place here. Walking the Pergola kind of feels like walking on a movie set, it seems too beautiful to be real.
Heres some shots of me by Luke:
Even though its November, it doesnt seem like it here in Ireland. The trees are still wearing full coats of leaves; the autumnal colours are bright and warm and the weather isnt cold yet. I love this extended Autumn, perfect for long walks and taking photos. Which, I have been doing. I have not been driving lately so I have been on foot and looking at everything. Seeing everything.
Choosing the positive path can be easy at some times in our life and more difficult at other times. When everything is going well, choosing the positive path, feeling and expressing positivity is an easy, natural choice. When something negative comes along it can be far more challenging for us to choose positivity. But we must choose it. No matter how challenging the negativity may be – we choose to bring the positive into our lives.
Im currently listening to the beautiful, trance-inducing musics of Message to Bears…
‘Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns.’ ~ George Eliot
This is my church, This is where I heal my hurts – Maxi Jazz