Saturday, February 28, 2009

Love Goes Down to Killybegs

In the foggy dew of morning I rise before the sun
and walk the time-worn path that generations have trod.
Down to the sea. Down to Killybegs and the sea.
Rustic hulls, aging nets lie sheltered in her arms,
while waters ripple softly
and seabirds soar silently in the awakening sky.
The thatched roofs of Killybegs are strands of gold
in the Midas touch of the sun's first rays,
and I drink the
morning cup of this mystical isle.

Was there e'er a land more enchanting?
Did e'er love find more fertile soil?
Or was it just your presence
that caused the earth to breath, to sing, to laugh?

The music…
Was it the haunting melody of Irish flute
and drum,
or the whistle of the wind on Slieve League cliffs
where once we stood in loving embrace?
The crashing waves,

the haunting sounds of the bodhran,
cannot match the pounding of two hearts, beating as one.

drank the joy of Ireland
as we hiked the majestic mountains of Mourne
and scaled the walls of Carrickfergus.
And only you could exceed the beauty and dark mystery of Donegal.
Her wild mountains and rugged shores,
her isolated beaches.
We dined on their beauty
and first tasted each other's love at old Fahan pier.
It was a wee bit of Heaven.
And we believed that Heaven was eternal.

From the old stone wall, I witness the gentle kiss of daybreak
on the calm, sheltered waters of the harbor.
Sweet Killybegs, suspended between sea and sky
Your ships go out; your ships return
and the cycle of life is like the steady beat of the bodhran.
We thought Heaven was eternal, too.

In the foggy dew of the morning I rise before the sun
and walk the time-worn path to Killybegs.
Down to the sea.
But my Celtic lover does not return today.
The land has lost its song,
and Heaven is not eternal.

Greg Silsby
St Patrick’s Day – 2006

Author’s note: “Love Goes Down to Killybegs” is somewhat of a departure from my usual offerings, both in terms of the photo and the writing. The photo is not original, but I have altered it in Photoshop, taking considerable liberty with the original for artistic effect. (Click on it to enlarge the photo and see it better.)

While I wrote the prose in the first person, it is the voice of someone else… one whose limited view of Heaven is the romantic love he finds amid, perhaps even stimulated by the enchanting sights and sounds of Ireland. Though blessed by the bounty of God’s gifts—immersed in the beauty of creation, lifted by the lilting melodies of those to whom God has given the ability to inspire with music, and warmed by the love of another—he mistakes the temporal for the eternal. He is in love with the gifts, but cannot see the Giver. It is all too often the story of man.


Diane said...

Greg, I thought this piece beautifully written. I have Celtic roots and connections, so I could see and hear all that you describe. But, it is your footnote that caught my attention. Thank you for including it. Yes, how much we miss when all we desire are the finite gifts, as wonderful as they may be, and we completely miss the infinite heart of the Giver.

Greg Silsby said...

Thanks, Diane. I do so appreciate you dropping by, and your kind comments.

SevenPilgrims said...

What a beautiful piece, Greg. I have never been to Ireland, but have a love for the land and it's history. That is the real grief of mankind, isn't it? A love for the creation, yet missing the love of the Creator. You have used your giftings well and beautifully. Thank you.

spookydragonfly said...

Such thought provoking, bittersweet words, that as a whole rings true...beautiful.