Today and yesterday me and my dad drove around the West Cork peninsulas of Kerry and Dingle.
I’d say we were lucky with the weather. Yesterday provided some spectacular sunshine while today came with a deep fog. Both days made for some great views and I’m somewhat more determined to try and save up to a respectable camera.
The landscape of West Cork is alien to me, and all the more fascinating for it. Where I grew up, the forest was the dominating feature. There were plenty of hills and valleys, but they were of the low and gently sloping kind. In a way, the land where I grew up was just uneven – and covered by trees.
The mountains of West Cork dominate the landscape. You’ll see them for miles around – enormous mounds of stone and dirt, with their peaks hidden in the clouds. On top of that, these mountains sit right on the edge of the sea. They’re part of the peninsulas that jut out like fingers into the Atlantic Ocean on the Irish west coast.
It is a majestic and impressive land.
How does living here affect people? What does it do to you when the only straight horizon you know is that of the sea? What’s it like to always have a mountain by your side?
I don’t know, and I probably never will – not for real. It’s still fascination to think about though.
It also woke an old idea for a story I want to write one day, once I’m more confident in my abilities. It’s largely based on this song:
The story is about how on the last day of the autumn, before the fishing stops for the winter, the folk of the fishing villages go up on the mountain overlooking the bay and light the fire that calls the fishermen in their boats back to the shore. They’ve always done this, for as far as anyone can remember, and as far as anyone they can remember could remember, and even further back. It’s traditional.
They light the fire to lead the boats back to the shore and to the safety of the village. It’s done in every village along the coast and they all do it on the same day. Everywhere it’s the same – and when the boats come back, there’s always one less than went out.
The story will be about the people waiting by the fire.