A Spring in one’s step

flowers
Lesser Celandine along the Black Avenue

After the Donadea 50k, I wasn’t so much tired as very, very hungry! I ate anything that moved in the next few days. The watch guesstimated 4,200 plus calories died along the way for the cause.

A few hot baths, a bit of foam rolling, and a couple of rubs with Deep Heat, and I was ready to rejoin the human race. In fact, I even showed up for Pilates on Monday, which surprised a few folk, not least myself.

Today, Wednesday, and I got out for my first run since the big one, with Mark, and we knocked out 10k in the park in 59 minutes, which is respectable enough, given we yabber all the way around. Plus my legs were just a little disconcerted about the whole running thing again. But they stopped complaining. Or I stopped listening. Not sure which.

teasel
Teasel

The cold snap from Siberia has passed and normal south-westerly service has resumed. It finally feels like Spring has arrived. For the nerds out there, the Irish seasons can be calculated in different ways. Weather enthusiasts will tell you the three warmest months are June, July and August, and so constitute Summer. Counting back, therefore, March is when Spring arrives. Watchers of celestial bodies, on the other hand, reckon Spring begins in February. And followers of the traditional Celtic festival of Imbolc which is celebrated at the start of February would tend to agree. And so would I. Nerd out.

blackthorn
Blackthorn buds about to pop…

Holy wells are common in Ireland. In many cases, I guess they were just wells that were used to get water from. But as with many things in a supernatural world, especially a pre-Christian one dominated by Iron Age Celts and those that came before, these places acquired greater significance. In later years, one of the things they all acquired was a Christian gloss. Indeed, Imbolc is also known as St Brigid’s Day, but this was most likely a reboot of the pagan festival that came before.

What’s nice about these wells and grottos that are predominantly found beside trees and water is that the pagan practice of tying little offerings to the branches is still done to this day. I ran past one such tree near the lake at Donadea. There’s a lovely blackthorn near the Hill of Tara that is festooned with bits and bobs. And our favourite is the spring at Lough Avalla Farm Trail in the Burren in Co. Clare.

But that is perhaps for another post.

well
Catherine’s Well, as it is known locally, in St. Catherine’s Park
figures
Someone has left these little figurines
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2 thoughts on “A Spring in one’s step

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