Thursday, September 05, 2013

Hydrange


Yes, I know the word is hydrangea. But my mother bestowed her favourite flower with its own pet-name. In my recent sojourn in West Cork - referred to as the 33rd county of Ireland by those that know it best - the byways were a feast of hydrangeas. West Cork is unique, still embracing its marvellous quaint old towns, hidden vanished fishing villages with the remains of stalwart stone walls submerged in the briars and brambles, its chimneys ceaselessly poking the sky, long abandoned, perhaps in the Irish Holocaust - quaintly and falsely termed "The Famine."

It was here, in West Cork, I found the twin of a site I had seen in Toronto. A memorial to a horrific Air India terrorist bombing off this Irish coast in 1985, in which all aboard were massacred, bodies vapourised, gaping black holes wrenched in families, never to be filled again. Both memorials are a testament to the creative and poignant spirits of the survivors where all the dead are listed, many of whom were entire families on a visit home to loved ones in India.

I didn't photograph the site, just as I didn't when I saw its counterpart in Toronto. I found them extraordinarily moving. In ireland there is a beautiful natural garden on a small headland overlooking the sea with steps down to the shore.

And here again were a riot of hydrangeas. The colours are astounding, varying from white to the deepest purple with pinks and blues and even touches of orange flaming the petals.

And the words on the sundial brings comfort and hope:

"TIME FLIES / SUNS RISE AND SHADOWS FALL /
LET IT PASS BY / LOVE REIGNS FOREVER OVER ALL".

7 comments:

  1. We had some hydrangeas in our yard when we moved here, but my husband does not like them and they died of neglect, alas.
    The most beautiful ones I have ever seen grow in the Pacific Northwest. Lots of blues and purples, especially.

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  2. Glad you had a good time! I've heard west Cork is a special place (should be it's own country maybe?!) I love the hydrangeas too. It must be all that mist and rain that makes the colours so intense. Did you have the same gorgeous weather as England did?

    I think it must have been our good influence!

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  3. On my list of things to do in Ireland is the visit to the memorial. I lost a dear friend in the explosion.

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  4. I'm glad you're enjoying your trip (how could you fail to do so, it's a beautiful part of the world?). I well remember the downing of Air India Flight 182, and three years later the massacre over Lockerbie that was Pan Am Flight 103. How human beings can do such things to their fellow beings defies comprehension.
    And while we continue to slaughter each other the hydrangeas just grow more beautiful.

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  5. Paul Durcan had a short poem about that massacre off Ireland. I can't recall the name of it.
    I seem to remember the final line was something like... "What can you do in such a dirty world."
    Anyone's recall better than mine?

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  6. Paul Durcan had a short poem about that massacre off Ireland. I can't recall the name of it.
    I seem to remember the final line was something like... "What can you do in such a dirty world."
    Anyone's recall better than mine?

    ReplyDelete

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