Posted on June 7, 2008
UP in the Wicklow Mountains, an easy drive south of Dublin, you will find the Sugarloaf Mountain.
It is not a high mountain, but it does have a distinctive peak. After a few pints of Guinness, it almost resembles the Matterhorn shape, although, to be sure, the Sugarloaf is merely a humble, rocky hill by comparison.
As a crazy motorcycling teenager, and as a dreamy student in my early twenties, I climbed the Sugar Loaf mountain hundreds of times. I would scramble the bike up as high as I possibly could, until the slope became simply too rocky and steep, and then dismount and proceed on foot.
I climbed it alone, and I climbed it with beautiful girl friends.
I climbed it stone cold sober, and I climbed it roaring drunk.
I climbed it happily, and I climbed it in moods of maudlin depression. I slept there a few nights – it got cold – and once, gloriously, I made mad passionate love up there. I watched many sunrises from that vantage point. And I recited poetry. And stroked the hair of my true love, and listened to her soft breathing, asleep, trusting, cradled up against me.
I watched the clouds. Wisps of clouds, multi colored, sometimes angry, sometimes gentle. Sometimes warming, and other times, disdainful. And then, just when you thought you had seen it all, the sun would suddenly break through dark clouds on a dull day, roaming dazzling beams in rolling patterns of illumination across the lush green fields of Ireland.
And your young heart would sing, and you would wish you could reach out and touch those incandescent, fleeting riders of the sky. And be amongst them, maybe even be one with them.
But what I seem to remember the most, is drifting off to sleep there, on warm, sunny days. The bright sun, comfortably outside my closed eyelids, yet still present, warming and comforting, combined with the soft sigh of the wind over Ireland into a soothing lullaby. The wind of the centuries, bringing with it echoes of the past, and distant foot steps. The wind that has flowed over Old Ireland, past poets and writers, thieves and ruffians, hopeful youths and bewildered ancients. The wind that has kissed the hair of scores of lovers, as they strolled, arm in arm, along stone walled country roads. The wind that frolicked mischievously with the open pages of favorite books. Flicking them over, and back, and over yet again.
The wind, that entity that -outrageously!- ignores stock market profits. And ignores investments, retirement funds, and the Retail Price Index.
Somehow, I remember that emotion strongly. It still, to this day, brings back poignant memories of lost youth, soon-to-be crushed innocence, and a naive, desperately well meaning idealism. I was convinced that Life could be good. My life, especially, was going to be fruitful and productive, and I was going to… do things.
In many ways, I never did. I tried, hard, but I never found my dreams. I never found what I really wanted to do. I was always restless, dreaming, aching for some lost cause.
…I found my niche, my calling, my deepest spiritual love…
Photo ‘Soaring Free’ by Ti
…whilst sky-diving, unfettered, free at last, at peace with Nature if not with Man, and shortly afterwards,
…when I became a pilot, flying open cockpit biplanes, listening to the wind strumming the flying wires, and I ended up…
…strangely, by a unique twist of Fate…
…a solitary, wandering poet, a lost soul, bewildered…
…storming those castles in the sky…
… flying alone through space, playing tag with those very same, dreamy wisps of bygone clouds…
As I bank and twist, and climb and turn, they surround me, follow me, block my way, and then yield to me, like a lover,
surrendering herself to me, embracing me, kissing me tenderly, hotly, delicately, and…
Oh!, so lovingly…
Last edited by Francis Meyrick on September 9, 2011, 2:26 pm