Reblogged from The Enchanted Garden:
In a chapter of The Enchanted Life entitled ‘Coming Home to Ourselves’, I wrote about the ways in which we can deepen our relationship and sense of belonging to the place we live: specifically, to our houses – and to our gardens, if we’re lucky enough to have one. And I am. Regular readers of this blog will know that I moved back to Connemara around a year ago, after three years in Donegal. The rather strange house we now live in sits in the middle of what, once upon a time, might have been thought of as a garden. Here’s how I described it in The Enchanted Life:
Home is a building, but home for the most fortunate among us might be a garden too – though if you had asked me, when we first moved to our new house in Connemara in the early spring of 2017, I would have told you that it was surrounded not by a garden, but by a bramble thicket. There I sat, like some wistful, ageing Briar Rose in a sea of thorns – ensorcelled not in a palace, but in the run-down, long-neglected grounds of a dilapidated 1970s bungalow. But after watching through weeks of relentless growing and greening, I would have told you, by midsummer, that I lived in a wood. It is a small wood, covering less than half of a strangely shaped one-acre plot, but it is a wood nevertheless.
There are silver ladies in my wood: tall, stately birches, their ageing bark deeply scored with black. Birch is the first tree in the old Ogham tree alphabet of Ireland: the tree of beginnings, of rebirth. There is willow too, and holly, and a scattering of baby rowans fetched in on some fitful breeze. This is a witching wood: dark green ivy wrapped around hawthorn; white-faced bindweed snaking through the brambles which guard the threshold to the wood-world beyond. It is a healing wood, too – with yarrow for your wounds, mint for your digestion, sweet violet to ease the breaking of your heart.
Continue reading at The Enchanted Garden