Waterfalls and Stone Stacks

Above: Waterfalls on Garnish Island, Glengarriff, Beara Peninsula in County Cork

As I was beginning to pack for my trip to Ireland, I checked on the journey of friends already there. They stayed a few days after their residency and took the opportunity to study the art of stone stacking. Did you know that the rampant stone borders all across Ireland hold no mortar? Not a drop. And yet stacked stone walls across this land are ubiquitous, hardy, beautiful, and seem to last forever (in reality, 100 – 200 years).

How do they do it?

There’s no secret really — it’s simply the mindset.

While packing, I was also yearning to revisit a site I saw only momentarily several years ago — wondering how I could get back there and, more importantly, where exactly it might have been. It was a lovely spot that I hadn’t been able to get out of my mind for several years.

It was, of course, the the exact location where my friends had returned to build magical walls.

I like to call these intersections freak coincidences, but they are likely neither freakish nor coincidence. They are simply what they were meant to be.

And so I find myself wondering again and again —

What exactly is coincidence? Is it Fate? Chance? Will? Calling?

And if I was called to this village of 140 people once, answered the call, and then felt called again to the very same place on this planet, what does that mean?

What am I here to learn?

And am I learning it?

Does it call to you as well?

Below: It’s estimated that the Irish countryside has over 400,000km of dry-stone walls, and many of those still standing were built during the Irish Famine, less than 200 years ago. The walls were built to separate and protect crop fields as well as to create separate fields for livestock grazing.

Inspired by a month-long artist residency graciously provided by Olive Stack Gallery, Listowel, Ireland

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