The Nire Valley

The Nire Valley
The Heart of the Comeragh Mountains.

Monday, 9 September 2013

Comeragh Wild.

We did not think of the great open plains, the beautiful rolling hills, and winding streams with tangled growth, as 'wild.' Only to the white man was nature a "wilderness" and only to him was the land 'infested' with 'wild' animals and 'savage' people." Chief [Luther] Standing Bear, Lakota (1933).

Our concept of wilderness is interesting, to some it is a place that must be bent to mans bidding, reclaimed, reformed and refined. To others it is a place to escape to, to find yourself, to recharge. Either way the "wilderness" leaves no one without an opinion. To me the wilderness is the 180 degree opposite to everything man does. The temples of the great Mayan cultures or Great Zimbabwe have all been reclaimed by nature, even our stone circles and standing stones, in the Nire Valley are hidden by nature. I love the way nature will cover all our traces in time and the Earth will forget us. 

On Sunday 22nd of September, as part of the Comeragh Wild festival, we will take "The Last Journey" across the Comeraghs, we follow the route of Bóthairín na Sochraide, the funeral path, from the Nire to Rathgormack . While we walk it we must contemplate the relationship our fore-bearers  had with this wilderness of the Comeraghs. They crossed the mountain following a coffin, a loved one, a friend, a neighbour; they paid their respects. They crossed without any technical clothing (waterproof gear), they crossed in all weather conditions and they crossed without any navigational aids. But, they possessed an innate understanding of the mountain, the weather, the seasons and their ability. We have lost these, I see many walkers today who are unable to read the topography, who are unable to read the weather and who have no idea how to hold a course without a compass or, worse, a GPS. Obsessed with getting to the highest point, keeping Naismith's rule and covering one-hundred meters in a minuet, "pushing themselves" and never seeing what actually surrounds them.

I wonder have we, humans, become the wildness and the mountains remained sane. Are we the ones who have gone feral and can no longer read the Earth or the Wind.

Come and join our walk along the funeral path and contemplate life, nature and our place in it. The event is free but you need to confirm your place, phone 058- 54975. Our the Web site 

Nire Valley.

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