Sunday 16 January 2022

Than longen folk to goon on pilgrimages

It is the Feast of St Fursey Lá Feile Fursa, an Irish saint, born in  Galway (where he became abbot of Killursa) but travelled across Europe to teach and preach in East Anglia and Picardy - where he is more widely venerated than in the home-place.  A train of events last year has induced me to make an annual pilgrimage to a certain glacial erratic on the North-East shoulder of our hill. Has to be for sunrise; has to be January; so there is small expectation of "success" - defined as catching the sun actually breaking the horizon. But that hasn't stopped a rolling roiling circus around Solstice Sunrise in Newgrange each year. On Weds 12 Jan 22 I made a wee recce aka feasibility study and captured the moment. On Lá Feile however it was a mizzling whiteout:

Leaning up against the altar, you can catch the top of the pilgrimme's staff made by my friend and fellow seeker Sally a few years ago.

I was, so, there! As I came down across the face of the hill I could hear the first weekend walkers chattering on the path far below but they couldn't see me, nor I them. Make a note in your diary for next year: staff, sandals, sanctity all optional.

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