11.12.11

Mythical winter swan on the lake









As an anti-dote to the economic wars endlessly rehearsed on the airwaves I took to the water last night and just observed the peaceful world of this swan. Whenever I see a swan it brings me back to the story of the Children of Lir which we all learned in school as small children.

Lir and his wife Aobh had four children called, Aodh, Fionghuala, Fiachra and Conn. When Lir's wife died in childbirth he remarried but his new wife Aoife was jealous of the children and their loving relationship with their father. One day in a jealous rage she put the children under a spell and they were turned into four white swans. They remained in that form for 400 years, living lives of horrendous hardship and loneliness wandering the world. I can almost feel the cold that they experienced living on icy waters through endless winters whenever I think of them.

In the end the spell was finally broken and they were returned to human form as withered old people. They were eventually baptised, died peacefully and were buried together. 

This legend is very much part of our Irish national psyche as is being able to absorb all sorts of stories and myths in our youth. So many beautiful Irish works of art have drawn on the powerful image of the four children as swans, or the amazing transformation from child to bird or from swan to human again. 

I still relish tales of the bitter sweet sort, of trapped beauty, of ice cold worlds, and above all of human survival and love........



20 comments:

  1. Ostatnie zdjęcie jest cudne: drzewa w wodzie ( odbicia) i łabędź. Pozdrawiam

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  2. I think maybe many of us are taking refuge in beautiful things right now - because of how bad things really are. Thank you for this, it made my day so much better.

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  3. Спасибо за легенду. Фотографии сказочные...

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  4. Belas fotos! O cisne é sempre elegante ,majestoso e desliza com ar solene. As cores envolventes estão magníficas.

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  5. Beautiful! These have such a wonderful tranquility.

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  6. this is so lovely.

    thank you for telling me a story today with your words and beautiful pictures.

    xo

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  7. I love the story and images..it has so many meanings...Irish legends are some of the best told!

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  8. OK reality check here - my lasting impression of swans (in England) is of them trying to attack me as I canoed past!! Let's just say they are very big, very powerful and pretty intimidating sitting 2' away from you.
    Other than that - lovely post.

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  9. Lovely tale - I can think of worse things than being turned into a swan.

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  10. Beautiful story, beautiful photos, an oasis of calm at a busy time, thank you !

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  11. Do you mind if people pin your pictures on pintrest? Clicking on the picture in pintrest will send people back to your blog?

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  12. Thanks for asking. No problem with a link:-)

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  13. Your feathered images are fetching. I enjoyed the story too with the underlying moral.

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  14. Beautiful! I always loved and was fascinated by this story when I was a child. Swans have such serenity which you have captured beautifully in your pics.

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  15. Dear Foxglove, I am very moved by this post. Your every word and ethereal images provoke depth of thought and angst at why things have to be this way. Powerful paradoxes within your tale and our world of wars. For economic reasons those in power will transform peoples of other countries into villains or helpless so that they can go in to kill, control and steal resources. Greed corrupts everything . . . except not the serenity found in your watery world - for the moment it is safe. Were you in a canoe? I love your last photograph especially.

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  16. Your swan story reminds me of the lyrics of a Jimmy Buffet song He Went to Paris. Buffet songs embrace the coastal life of our South. He croons:

    Jimmy, some of its magic
    Some of its tragic
    But I had a good life all the way.

    I like to think of that song during difficult spells.

    I do hope you have a Merry Christmas my dear friend.

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  17. Pure poetry, just beautiful. Love your photography! Thanks!
    Christina

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A big thank you for all of your comments, each and every one is much appreciated. Please use the contact page if you have questions that require a response, or if like some people you are blocked from commenting here. I will always reply.