There are thirty mountain ranges in Ireland, with glen’s running down through them. The word glen comes from the Irish and Scottish word ‘gleann’ and means a narrow valley, more often than not with water cascading down through it cutting through the rock as it goes. We are currently living near the Derryveagh Mountain range in Donegal. My understanding is that it is the Bluestack mountains that we will be able to see from the house we are hoping to buy, which is good news as far as I am concerned.
I have written before of my love of the glens. When I was a very young child we would visit Ireland on holiday, and whilst my dad helped his brother on his farm I would play with my cousins in the glen that run past the side of their farmland. There was a small stone bridge that straddled the freezing cold sparkling water as it ran down from the mountains to meet the sea, and we would all congregate under the bridge on warm sunny days catching tiddlers and then letting them go. It is one of my favourite memories of my holidays in Ireland.
Ever since then I have always been fascinated with the beauty of the glens, as they catch the light and take it with them to the sea.
The last time I was in Ireland before moving here, was thirty-six years ago when my dad brought the whole family, including boyfriends of the time, to visit his family. I can remember walking up what I think were the Galtee Mountains and along the edge of the Glen of Aherlow; the further you walked up the mountain the bigger the glen was in places, sometimes a raging torrent angrily hurtling down the hills, as if it really didn’t want to leave it’s surroundings but compelled by some sort of magic to keep going anyway. The sun was shining and the glen was at it’s most magnificent, a watery jewel that only nature could create.
My partner at the time had a terrible wound on his hand, he had caught it with a grinder and took layers of skin off and it just wouldn’t heal. My dad told him to place his hand in the freezing pure waters of the glen and hold it there. His hand was healed before the holiday was over.
For those new to my blog, of which there seem to be quite a few so welcome, our Welshie Harley has always loved water, and especially the light that sparkles on it. There was never a moment of peace when our pool was in place for the summer, no laying in the water and relaxing because Harley would just be stood up beside the pool barking incessantly until you splashed him, and he would then chase the sparkling droplets all around the garden. It was the same with the hose, he just loved it.
It was one of the things that broke our heart when we took it down for the last time. But we comforted ourselves that he would love his life here.
Harley had a terrible health scare back in 2017 when he nearly died. Since then we have always been afraid that it would have affected him in other ways, add to that he is not getting any younger and it is always a worry.
Towards the end of last year we had another health scare with him, which resulted in me being in tears for a whole weekend until we decided to ‘wait and see’. But one of the things that I said at the time, through the tears was that I just wanted to get Harley to Ireland, and for him to see the beaches, and more importantly the glens, with their sparkling magical light that I knew my boy would love.
I was not wrong.
Although we have not been able to go into the mountains for walks due to the dreaded lockdown we have been able to experience some of the glens as they finally meet the sea; and Harley, like his mummy, has absolutely loved them.
We have visited a town near to us where the glen finally runs free into the sea, gurgling hysterically as it’s journey finally comes to fruition. Harley could not resist getting closer to take a look.
A few weeks ago we went to the long beach near to us, and there was a small glen trickling down to freedom, because we have not been able to get into the mountains we showed it to Harley, it was one of those moments that makes you smile.
I cannot wait until we can go into the mountains and my boy can finally stand in their healing waters. More to come on this subject.