As we settled into this area and our newly built house, Sean made some good friends in the local primary school, which he attended for four school years from 1998 to 2003. He played soccer in the yard with the other boys; we have a plaque that he won as part of the school quiz team.
His customary world extended to the Gaelic football club, as I have mentioned, and to the Blackwater river, where I would take him fishing … he later took the photo close to where we used to stand.
He liked to fish, and took it quite seriously. We caught small perch and (usually) smallish trout. Sometimes we caught a good-sized trout and took it home to cook; otherwise we released our catch back into the water.
Once Sean caught a nice trout, perhaps a couple of pounds. We rang his mum to come and take a photo of him with it by the river. Before she arrived, some people were passing by on the bridge … Sean took the fish from the keeping net and held it up to show them, whereupon it jumped from his hands into the river and swam away.
There are about six houses close to ours, and children lived in several of them while Sean and Susanna were growing up. There was always a gang of kids to play together, and they had many adventures … they used to build tree houses, or go to the ‘forest’ down the road, or up the fields to a wild and rocky area where, in one part, there were hundreds of sheep skulls. This was known as the sheep’s graveyard. Often we wouldn’t see them for hours, and would sound the car horn when dinner was ready. They had an idyllic life, with a very high degree of freedom.
Sean and Susanna often used to ‘help out’ with the milking on a farm down the road. Afterwards they would be given tea and cake, and the two of them would entertain their hosts at the kitchen table by singing songs. They knew everyone in the area, and were part of a community where people looked out for each other.
Although Sean moved on later, he kept his Munterconnaught friends. Munterconnaught was his home base, where he was completely at ease, and he provided what is probably the best photographic record of it in the heritage society booklet Munterconnaught Uncovered, published in 2008.
Lately he had been designing and developing a website for the heritage society … he showed us what he had done at the last meeting. We will have to find someone else to complete his work.
17 responses to “Sean’s world 3”
How fortunate you and your children are. You can leave your kids out of sight for hours.
You are blessed with many things. And you are blessed with being aware of them, Brendan.
This morning after reading something from your previous blog, I tried to recall something from Rumi and another Turkish philospher, saying something like, he who looks for beauty, sees beauty and becomes beauty. And Einstein’s famous quote “There are two ways to live: you can live as if nothing is a miracle; you can live as if everything is a miracle.”.
I’m happy to know you, my friend.
Thank you, Levent … you’re very kind.
I like the two quotes. I am definitely in the camp that sees everything as a miracle. Having Sean for 19 years was, I suppose, a miracle.
I hope you and your family are well.
Good morning, Brendan … Amen to Levent’s words.
I do love this photo .. from turbulence to tranquillity. It is like looking through the keyhole of life into eternity.
Good morning, Marya … thank you. Yes, it’s a lovely shot … two different worlds and a bridge between.
Yes, Brendan, and the bridge is love.
Thanks, Marya … I’ve just driven over the bridge twice. 🙂
Bravo, Brendan 🙂
Yes, a magical childhood. I like the beeping of the car horn to call the children in for dinner.
They didn’t always hear it … or may have pretended not to if they were in the middle of a game. I often had to go up the fields to look for them.
The place they used to go up the fields was very inaccessible … high and rocky, as I said, with barbed wire fences and dry-stone walls, hedges and gorse bushes.
Not many children these days have the freedom to roam and play like that in the countryside.
Your children were privileged to have that sort of childhood. Very lucky children.
Yes … I suppose it was a kind of throwback to more innocent times. Urban children (especially in the UK, from what I hear) tend to have little unsupervised play these days, which is a pity.
I like the story of your son holding up the trout to show the people on the bridge .. and then the trout making the most of it, jumping out of his hands and swimming away. There is something very ancient and permanent about that story.
Yes, it’s like a small fable. Fish are very symbolic, as you know.
It was typical of Sean that he had to interact with the people … he couldn’t just let them walk past. He was proud of his fish.
‘a taste as old as cold water’.
A good phrase (I’m drinking some cold water now … we have our own well). On Googling it I see it’s Lawrence Durrell on olives.