It’s the summer solstice, and the weather has proved diffident. But where is it written that on the longest day in Ireland we shall be gifted with sunshine?
Yet, towards the evening the continuous clouds thinned in places so I ventured into the woods, in search of beauty. I was not rewarded with a triumphant, sunny breakthrough, but there were dramatic skyscapes. Conventionally pretty? Perhaps not, but arresting nonetheless.
The woods were dotted with one of my favourite summer flowers, which returns each year to a glad welcome by me: dactylorhiza fuchsii, the common spotted orchid.
We tend to associate orchids with strange shapes, bright colours, and hot, humid climates. Not the mild temperate woodlands of Ireland. But here it thrives, among the grasses, buttercups, and dandelions. It does not disdain common company.
During my walk I paused for a while, perched upon a stone seat, and contemplated an old, rough wall, inscribed with ivy.
How long ago was this stonework erected? Perhaps before I was born. And the rock from which it was hewn has existed long before any ambition of my ancestors.
The ivy is not daunted by the age or the endurance of the wall. It follows its nature, despite inhospitable surfaces, and exposure to elements.
It persists, and climbs.
I get up, and go.