“Where mountainy men have sown…”

photo by eoin mac lochlainn of cottage in the mountain near the healy pass, Co.Kerry

Here’s a photo I took recently. We were travelling over the Healy Pass, crossing from West Cork into Kerry when this little house caught my eye.

What would it be like to live there in the mountains?  What would you do all day?  Would you grow potatoes?  Would you be a sheep farmer?  Would you have a clever sheep dog to gather in the sheep and run all over the mountains for you, to herd in the awkward ones?  Would you be like the ‘Mountainy men’ from “The Wayfarer”  poem by Patrick Pearse?

And what about electricity? Or Broadband?

Perhaps you’d have a blog, or a vlog, even. You could make funny videos about the sheep, maybe. I don’t know. We live such disparate lives, nowadays.  It’s probably quite difficult up there in winter. Snow and ice. Certainly the Healy Pass would be treacherous in the snow.  But beautiful.  ‘Near to the gate of Heaven’.

Ah, sometimes I think that I was a shepherd in another life, wandering over the hills with my shepherd’s crook. Or maybe I was just a crotchety old sheep without a good word to say for anyone…

drawing by Eoin Mac Lochlainn of ram at Healy Pass, Kerry

It feels like a dream, now that I’m back home in Dublin. Have you ever imagined yourself in a completely different life?




  1. An-spéisiúl mar cheist, Eoin. Ní dóigh liom go mbeadh broadband ag an úinéar san ait sin, b’fhéidir go h-annamh, anois agus arís, ach b’fhéidir nach mbeadh sé uaidh / uaithi / uathu. Ceist maith. Saol difriúl.

    Bhíos ag breathnu ar na crainn taobh le Abhann an Dothair i dTír an Iuir inniu agus bhuail na línte seo liom:

    “The trees are in their autumn beauty,
    The woodland paths are dry,
    Under the October twilight, the water mirrors a still sky,
    Upon the brimming water, among the stones,
    Are nine and fifty swans.” (etc)

    Go h-iontach do scéalta a léamh go rialta, tá siad i gconaí spéisiúl agus éifeachtach.


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