Bealtaine

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This past Bealtaine weekend, I was thinking a lot about the spirit of a place - Place / Home / Community - What does it all mean?

On Friday I spent part of the day in Dublin, with my 14 year old son. We stayed in Dublin for a while when he was 3 or 4 and thought it would be interesting to visit the house and neighbourhood where we used to live - It was interesting, a little emotional and quite thought provoking, I could still see part of myself back then, ten years ago, walking through the front door. 

I have lived in lots of places throughout my life, a boat, bus and barn all before I was seven years old! My parents liked to travel, especially my father - His people were Gypsies. As a child I loved this life of wanderlust and adventure - The path seems to have been set for me during those early years - I don't like to be too static.  

The spirit of a place, I am beginning to realise, is just like the spirit of a person, it is an immovable presence. We all leave a fraction of ourselves in physical spaces, and take something new as we depart.

These musing's brought to mind a book I read in the past: 'Songlines' by Bruce Chatwin. In this book Chatwin highlights how Aboriginal people conceive that when a woman first feels her baby move inside her, it is from this physical place where she is standing, that the spirit of the child enters the world.

I have been living here in Baile Mheiriceá now for the past six years, I smell the lake and lakeshore every day, the meadows, heather and the local timber yard. I don't have as much freedom now as when my life was just about me and I do often yearn for the road - When I feel like this I remind myself:

I can still smell the salty air,

the coal fires, 

the late night bars,

the bonfires and smoke,

the tarmac,

the heat... 

And all the other scents and images of all the places I have been, lived and travelled. 

They are all a part of me, their magic, mystery and memories - An immovable presence...

And particles of my spirit are left in these places, mingling and dancing with the present. 

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