When I was a child, I climbed walls, just to see what was on the other side, it didn’t matter how high, your friends always climbed with you. We could throw a ball against a wall, or mark it with chalk as the goal posts for a game. Sometimes we just sat on the wall and told each other jokes and stories about the mystery of secrets in the wind.
A wall was just a wall made of bricks. Brick coloured bricks. Brick shaped bricks. Bricks that smelled like bricks. Real bricks.
When I was grown, I built lots of walls. They were like jig-saw pieces with holes where the bits were missing. I made square pegs to fit into round holes in the wall but when I realised that none of them were real, that they only existed behind the walls of my mind and no matter how high I tried to climb, they were only made of paper.
So I built a smaller wall, to sit on while I dreamt about castles in the sky and secrets in the wind.
In Johnstown Castle Gardens, swans glide serenely on a lake of green algae,
their nest hidden by the burst of growth along the swampy waterside.
Giant Gunnera and black stemmed Chinese Bamboo plunge their roots into the sodden bank.
Blush of Pink and purple Rhododendrons, Camellia and the perfumed flowers of Mock Orange Blossom. Pine trees soaring above a canopy of glossy green Laurel and the surprise of Flag Iris in glory of sunshine yellow while ferns, buttercups and all kinds of wild flowers fill the gaps below.
Shady earthen paths, small birds whistling from hidden places, scents of woodland and a damp bench for pause and reflection.
At the entrance to the courtyard and cafeteria, a pheasant atop his lofty perch commands attention, his screeches echo,
another struts purposefully in the courtyard, tail feathers fanned, he struts his stuff.
Photo taken at the middle lake in Johnstown Castle Gardens, Wexford, by Teri Flynn May 2019
It was good to stop and take a halfway moment, allowing my mind to wander into forgotten dreams, surrounding myself with thoughts of softness, kindness, strength, and the pleasure of just being here. The unfolding was encouraging,
Halfway down the crumbling wooden steps, the sound of waves rolling onto sand.
Halfway through January, the morning has warmed to three degrees.
Halfway between here and there, thoughts of scrambling autumn blackberries, and
yellow wild flowers nestling amongst the scrub.
Raindrops in a line on the tips of thin grass.
My halfway thoughts linger on all the small jewels.