who have been in the charmed West have seen the gloom and
the shine of the mountains that throw their shadow on the
sea – have heard the wave whisper along that haunted
shore which none loves save with passion, and none, loving,
can bear to be long parted from. You, unlike so many who
delight only in the magic of sunshine and cloud, love this
dear land when the mists drive across the hillsides, and
the brown torrents are in spate, and the rain and the black
wind make a gloom upon every loch, and fill with the dusk
of storm every strath, and glen, and corrie.
otherwise can one love it aright: "Tir nam Beann
s'nan gleann' s'nan ghaisgach," as one of our ancient
poets calls it --- "The land of hills, and glens, and
heroes." You, too, like Deirdre of old, have looked
back on "Alba" and, finding it passing fair and
dear, have, with the Celtic Helen, said in your heart---
tir in tir ud thoir.
Alba cona lingantaibh!
"Belovéd is that dear land,
Alba of the lochs."
the mythology of the Gael are three forgotten deities, children
of Delbaith-Dana. These are Seithoir, Teithoir, and Keithoir.
One dwells throughout the sea, and beneath the soles of the
feet of another are the highest clouds; and these two may
be held sacred for the beauty they weave for the joy of eye
and ear. But now that, as surely none may gainsay, Keithoir
is blind and weary, let us worship at his fane, rather than
give all our homage to the others. For Keithoir is the god
of the earth; dark-eyed, shadowy brother of Pan; and his
fane is among the lonely glens and mountains and lonelier
isles of "Alba cona lingantaibh."
we could hear the wind blowing along Magh Mell -- the Plain
of Honey -- we might list to a new note, bitter-sweet: and,
doubtless, the waves falling over the green roof of Tir-na-Thonn'
murmur drowsily of a shifting of the veils of circumstance,
which Keithoir weaves blindly in his dark place. But what
was, surely is; and what is, surely may yet be. The form
changes; the essential abides. As the saying goes among the
islefolk: The shadow fleets beneath the cloud
driven by the wind, and the cloud falls in rain or is sucked of the sun, but
the wind sways this way and that for ever.
may well be that the Celtic Dream is not doomed to become
a memory merely. Were it so, there would be less joy in all
Springs to come, less hope in all brown Autumns; and the
cold of a deathlier chill in all Winters still dreaming by
the Pole. For the Celtic joy in the life of Nature – the
Celtic vision – is a thing apart: it is a
Passion – a visionary rapture. There is none like it among the peoples
of our race.
a beautiful winters day... my best friend is Cailleach and
she stirs the cauldron of the Scottish heart. :)