Tuesday, September 18, 2012

The Embroidery of Inishfree

While following the trail of the saints on the Emerald Isle, I happened to come across a little cottage in County Clare. It was a place where the smoky smell of fresh peat burning in the hearth mixing with the musty aroma of a traditional thatched roof gave a satisfying warmth to a cool morning.

"I've met some folk who say that I'm a dreamer
And I've no doubt there's truth in what they say
For sure a body's bound to be a dreamer, 
When all the the things he loves are far away."

It was a one-room, unpretentious cottage that perfectly reflected the simplicity of the Irish people. One could almost see a little Irishwoman dancing about the open hearth, making brown bread, puddings, and stew to feed to a soon-expected crowd of hungry men. 

"And precious things are dreams unto an exile
They take him through a land across sea
Especially when it happens he's in exile
From that dear lovely Isle of Innisfree."

Over all - this cottage was a specimen of suffering, poor Ireland that had been preserved for the modern world, lest anyone forget the trials of those who lived the life of persecuted for the sake of God and land. 

"And when the moonlight peeps across the rooftops
Of this great city, wondrous though it be
I scarcely feel the beauty or the magic. 
I'm once again back home in Inisfree."

The cottage door and a few small windows were kept open. And, if one didn't know any better, the gorgeous countryside beyond could easily be mistaken for the finest of paintings, drafted by the masters of landscape art. 

"I wander o'er green hills and dreamy valleys
And find a peace no other land could know
I hear the birds make music fit for angels
And see the rivers laughing as they flow."

A single candle burned beneath the only real framed piece of art in the room. It was a humble tapestry of primitive stitching and resourceful applique that came together to form the image of He Whose Heart bleeds for all men. While old and battered now, it clearly shows the Faith of the Irish - so often tested, but never stifled.  

"And then into a humble shack I wander
My own sweet home and tenderly behold
The folks I love around the turf fire gathered
On bended knees, their rosary is told."

If the Hand of God could be shown imprinted on this earth, I believe it would look like beautiful Ireland and her faithful people - on this beloved Inishfree.

"But dreams don't last though dreams are not forgotten
When we are back to stern reality.
And though they pave the footways here with gold dust
I still would choose the Isle of Inisfree."

*Inishfree, referred to by the poet Farrelly, represents all of Ireland.

1 comment:

  1. How beautiful! That kind of art must be the most pleasing to God, I think. That poem, also, is one of my favorites, or rather the song. Thank you for posting this. :)Iris H. Lover