?

Log in

No account? Create an account
 
 
26 August 2010 @ 10:05 am
At Tara in this fateful hour…  

Mom, Dad, Young Indiana and I went out to the Hill of Tara yesterday. This is one for my Bucket List, as I’ve wanted to go to Tara since I was about, oh, eight, and read A WRINKLE IN TIME and its companion novels, of which I believe A SWIFTLY TILTING PLANET may be my favorite. (I should re-read those.)

It’s worth being on the Bucket List. I’m sure that for many people it’s just a big lump of hills and gulleys with no spectacular import, but for me, walking over territory which was sacred thousands of years ago, and which has left its mark on the land, is something special.

The view is spectacular. Tradition holds you can see from one end of Ireland to the other from Tara, and the impression you’re left with, standing up there in the wind, is that you can. You certainly can see to every bordering mountain range (such as they are), and you can watch the rain whip in from the distance while the sun scrapes through clouds above you to splash brightness on patchwork earth.

The Stone of Destiny (which is supposed to shriek so loudly as to be heard across Ireland when the true king of Ireland lays hands on it) was not where I thought it was, but it turned out that it’d been moved at some point, and the place I /thought/ it was supposed to be is where it used to be. It did not, to our dismay, scream when any of us touched it–but Young Indiana was asleep, so didn’t lay his hands on, and so might yet be the true kind of Ireland. :)

I didn’t, as it turned out, take all that many pictures, because mostly what Tara *looks* like *is* a big green of small gulleys and hills. It gets more interesting from an ariel view, because you start being able to see things like the Hall of Kings’ actual structure, but from the ground it just looks like you’re walking along between a couple of long low hills.

Usually, though, you don’t catch a whisper of cheers from warriors past carried on the wind behind you as you walk between hillocks.

Photos here.

(x-posted from the essential kit)
 
 
Current Mood: pleasedpleased
 
 
 
Kari Sperringla_marquise_de_ on August 26th, 2010 10:01 am (UTC)
When we first visited in around 1990, my beloved looked around him, and said, 'Oh look, a bumpy field'. Which has rather stuck as a label. The view is lovely, though. (Being a Celticist, I'm deeply sceptical about the various historical claims, but it remains a place I enjoy visiting.)
kitmizkit on August 26th, 2010 04:35 pm (UTC)
I think most of the 'historical' claims are legendary claims, at best, but it does seem fairly likely that the place was a henge site of some significance in years past, which is certainly enough for it to be awesome, as far as I'm concerned. That I opt to buy in to the mythological and mystical portents is just icing on the cake. :)
Kari Sperringla_marquise_de_ on August 26th, 2010 09:35 pm (UTC)
The prehistory is fascinating, definitely.
Colettebellinghwoman on August 26th, 2010 11:39 am (UTC)
I was about, oh, eight, and read A WRINKLE IN TIME

Goodness, that brings back memories! I first read it at about the same age and I always think of it as the first SF book I read; it made a deep impression on me. I had borrowed it from the library so didn't have my own copy, but quite a few years ago I decided that I would like one and started looking for it in bookshops. I didn't find a copy until I spent a weekend in Hay-on-Wye about a decade ago and I was immensely pleased. I hadn't realised that there were companion novels - I shall look into aquiring those too :-)
kitmizkit on August 26th, 2010 04:39 pm (UTC)
Yes! A WIND IN THE DOOR and A SWIFTLY TILTING PLANET, plus a couple of others which are less Meg-and-Charles-centric. Cool, glad to have expanded your knowledge about those books! :)

The Dark is Rising Sequence (which is more properly fantasy, I suppose, than SF) is what sticks in my mind as the first fantasy I ever read. The first SF novel I read, around age 7 or 8, too, was THE CITY UNDER GROUND, which, upon re-reading as an adult, surprised me with all the religious overtones. :) And I was about nine when I read Heinlein's TUNNEL IN THE SKY. The years of my life, marked out in fiction. :)
The owner of a grey catjennielf on August 26th, 2010 01:07 pm (UTC)
Are you going to do another calendar? Some of these pics would be lovely in a new calendar. Just sayin'

Looks gorgeous - just like the Ireland in my head. :)
kitmizkit on August 26th, 2010 04:40 pm (UTC)
I am planning to do one if I have time this fall. Should I be considering a 'Sacred Sites of Ireland' calendar? :)
Mary Annepers1stence on August 26th, 2010 01:24 pm (UTC)
You are doing such a good job of getting out and about these days! :)

Wrinkle in Time was the first SF book I read(I still have my original copy with an inscription on it from the person who gave it to me, which is why I know when I got it). I still love the original 3. I am not as impressed by the two after the original trilogy (the one featuring the twins and the one featuring Meg's daughter). Somehow I missed the fact that Tara was a specific place.... :)
kitmizkit on August 26th, 2010 04:41 pm (UTC)
I am, aren't I? How weird is that? :)

I can't even remember if the climactic scene in ASTP is at Tara, but its presence as a place/name made an impact on me because of the poem.
Mary Annepers1stence on August 26th, 2010 05:37 pm (UTC)
I always thought of the invocation of Tara in the poem as an Irish-flavored term for "gaia" or something.....
kitmizkit on August 26th, 2010 05:47 pm (UTC)
Oh. I didn't, because they say "At Tara". :)
Mary Annepers1stence on August 26th, 2010 08:44 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I caught the "at" in the invocation, but I had sort of decided it was more of an intangible place or essence, given that none of the book takes place in Ireland.....
kitmizkit on August 26th, 2010 09:27 pm (UTC)
Possibly this is where having an Irish-born grandparent in the house flavors one's expectations of things... :)
Miss Mayvalancymay on August 26th, 2010 03:20 pm (UTC)
I will add Tara to the list for next year's Irish journey.
kitmizkit on August 26th, 2010 04:41 pm (UTC)
SQUEEEEEEEEEEEE! *runs around like a running thing who will have a Cori*!
kitmizkit on August 26th, 2010 04:41 pm (UTC)
...also, Tara's really easy to get to from Dublin, so that's very handy. :)
hegemony hedgehogagrimony on August 28th, 2010 09:27 pm (UTC)
I would rather believe I am very difficult to get to from Dublin! :)

*ducks* Okay, I'll stop now.
Miss Mayvalancymay on August 26th, 2010 04:50 pm (UTC)
The plan is to go to Ireland for a couple of weeks around the end of September, I think. I'm not sure who will be accompanying me - hopefully someone who can drive a standard, so we can rent a car. :D
kitmizkit on August 26th, 2010 04:55 pm (UTC)
There's a fair amount you can do just by bus or train, if you so choose. But a car *is* handy. :)
hegemony hedgehogagrimony on August 26th, 2010 11:09 pm (UTC)
Yay! You're coming to visit ME! :)
Lady Doomlithera on August 26th, 2010 04:27 pm (UTC)
That's it.

I'm going to have to find a way to visit.

*mutters at her schedule*
kitmizkit on August 26th, 2010 04:41 pm (UTC)
well, IF YOU INSIST. :)
Lady Doomlithera on August 26th, 2010 04:44 pm (UTC)
*scuffs her feet*

Well, y'know.... not meaning to be presumptuous or nothin'.
hegemony hedgehogagrimony on August 26th, 2010 11:10 pm (UTC)
I look like a big green of small gulleys and hills. sniff. :(