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
8 responses to “Sugarloaf Mountain”
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Excellent story and nostalgic write; It brought a tear to my eyes. For some reason I follow your thoughts that took me back home in Europe. You story based and filled with deep emotions that are toughing on heartstrings. You wrote about an Oasis for escaping after the entire week in a city.
"Wicklow Mountains – The whole area is much frequented, especially at weekends, by Dubliners, as the region offers multiple choices of recreation, ranging from fishing to rafting to hill walking. Also in its midst lies the monastic settlement of Glendalough, believed to have been founded by St. Kevin, and now a popular tourist attraction; as well as Powerscourt Waterfall, the highest waterfall in Ireland. The southern limits of the Wicklow Mountains are set by Croghan Mountain, the highest point on the Wicklow-Wexford border and the scene (in the 19th century) of Ireland’s only Gold Rush."
– FIVE STARS!
Thank you for sharing.
… Excellent write!
The SUGARLOAF MOUNTAIN looks so inviting to climb on.
The picture adds additional effect to your writing.
I need to tell you that on the other day right when you wrote about this Mountain, there was a TV show and I saw a lot of beauty from that area. A Paradise like Mountain, with Park – fountains with running water – And raining there so often.
The name ‘Sugarloaf’ it is like a brown sugar…
Thought will share that with you.
[I wanted to go there for a visit at that very moment.]
Ahhhh! How could you?! I have always wanted to visit Ireland…and reading this nearly killed me. Good heavens, I’m very jealous. You make my very being ache to be there. I will be incomplete as a person, until I’ve experience this beauty. You jerk.
But of course, I’m not really mad at you. As usual, your magnificent, deeply descriptive writing makes anger at the author impossible.
I hope you have found your calling, and I hope you continue to express yourself and your life through your writing.
I’ll take ‘jerk’ as a compliment I guess!
I look at your picture and imagine a grand craggy rocky mountain that has been worn down by those winds and changing weather over a million years to a peaceful, grand, sugary loaf of a mountain.
I read your piece and imagine that in those million years, thousands of others have loved, been inspired, and used the same rock in much the same way. You are indeed fortunate that you’ve had such a place in your formative years and been able to place indelible memories and experiences there. I recommend that whenever crises, sickness, or difficulties come into your life, you close your eyes and journey back to that mountain and find the peace that it has given in your life.
Thank your for a wonderful moment on this fine August morn.
It sounds like a ‘thin’ place to me, Francis. Is it? I know you understand that – you spoke of the great timeline – the connectedness of all the ages. Yes, it must be.
I really like the story. I liked that you recognize time is just a thread runing through us all – all who were, all who are and all who ever will be. Your longings and lusting made my cheeks hot, I’ll confess, but katie has no tears for such as this. I think you are just where you want to be – you mock me as syrupy because I spoke of surrender – but isn’t that what you did when you realize that you are where you are supposed to be? Men can be so blind, I think. Now, you made me laugh today and now you made me ‘see’ you. I’m off for the next adventure – to listen to "The Voice". Ta-ta – great story!
your chastened friend,
You are one crazy ole’ "lost poet" sure enough Francis. This was beautiful if not a little on the long side, the beginning was really great, roped me in and kept me reading. I really feel your emotion in this piece, I can tell you’re the sensitive sort. You overdo the emotion a little toward the middle but other than that, the description of the mountain was perfection. Once I figure out how to favorite this, I will