Sunday, 4 September 2011

Where curlews sing

At times I seek out places in nature away from the maddening crowds where I can find peacefulness, rare spots on the coastline or in the countryside which provide none of the usual trappings of modern life. There are many that I have become accustomed to visiting and one which I will share is at Rine in Co. Clare, the approach is an awkward drive along a narrow boreen that passes through a farm yard to terminate on the point of a peninsula.

A Martello Tower

"War broke out between England and France in 1803 and because of past invasion attempts by the French, the British drew up plans to fortify likely landing places in Britain and around the coasts of Ireland. The principal feature being a network of fortifications to be constructed on the Coasts of England and Ireland was The Martello Tower Built under the National Defence Act 1804. Here in Ireland 50 such Towers were built." Extracted from ©"

Here I could be found in all weathers, standing in sunshine or sat with wind and rain to my back communing with nature, hearing the music provided by coastal seabirds against the wash of the sea lapping a stony strand. I loved the lonely isolation of it all.

Heart in hand

So it was here on one of my last visits that I took a stroll and found my heart. I did not know then that it was to be my turning point or the fulcrum of a new existence.

An aorta in stone perhaps ?

This heart shaped stone even has an indentation placed roughly where the aorta would be.


This blog was inspired by an email conversation that I had with a follower of A Heron's View- HelenTilston: who is a frequent visitor to a neighbouring Martello Tower on an adjacent peninsula, quite literally a couple of miles north in Co Galway.


  1. I loved the Martello towers when we lived in Ireland. I believe one at Sandy Mount was the James Joyce museum?

  2. TRISTRAM said:

    AWESOME omen .... buddy the very Earth beckons you forward ...soon we walk into the Aquarian with that promise within for much improved Harmonics of all nature.
    Cead Mile Fialte ' one hundred thousand Blessings on you
    and that wonderful stone


  3. It is a state of the heart for sure.. Is the origin of this rock volcanic.. I found a small version of rock such as this washed up on the beach one day..

    We have The Carlton Martello Tower high on a rocky outcropping in our nearby coastal city of Saint John, NB, built during the War of 1812. So close to the city that it overlooks but such a feeling of being the only soul around when one is there...

    ... and what is this new existence you speak of?

  4. Kath you are quite correct :) Originally built by the British as a defence against the expected Napoleonic invasion, this "Martello Tower" now houses a small museum dedicated to the life and works of James Joyce. It was here that he set the first chapter of the novel Ulysses. Set in a peaceful loaction in Sandycove, just a short walk from Dun laoghaire in South County Dublin. The collection here includes some of Joyce's personal possessions, photographs, letters, and first and rare editions of the book.

    Gwen: Shortly after finding the volcanic heart I fell in love and my life changed completely :)

  5. Lovely post. There are several Martello Towers here on the East coast of England, most of them are now private homes, but they do look magnificent from the sea.

  6. I found my way here from Sarah's blog. I have a passion for the Irish and especially for observant ones who write about their observations, all the way away from sunny Australia. I'm pleased to meet you and to read about your heart of stone.

  7. What a beautiful place! the stone was certainly an omen and what a lovely one indeed! I am so very happy to see and learn of these beautiful locations and history through these blogs...:) Debs

  8. How lucky you were to find your heart.
    Can you tell me what a boreen is? please.

  9. Hello Doohie thank you for your question. A boreen is a trackway/an un metalled lane that is similar to the greenways or green roads of England.

  10. Thankyou, now I'll know which way to go if someone tells me to go along the boreen. :-)

  11. Yes you will of course, but remember what your mother told you and don't speak to strange men ;-)

  12. If I took you to the shores of Lake Taupo in New Zealand, we would find pumice stones, light as a feather, white, and just as beautiful as your heart shaped stone. I am a bit of a rock collector myself, much to my family's dismay. If I had stumbled upon this one I would have brought it home, and placed it in a large bowl outside me door. I started collecting when we lived in New Zealand, packed it up and moved it with me to England, where it sits waiting for the latest specimen. No matter where I live, every time I see it, I know I am home.

    Sorry for the long comment...I see a rock and I just get lost in thought!
    I came over to thank you for your kind comment and to say I could not agree is not the Follower but the comment that really matters.
    Just a little wishful birthday thinking on my part. :)

    Happy walking and thanks for introducing us to the Martello Tower and your heart. :)


  13. Beautiful, stones found in symbolic shapes are incredibly synchronistic and magical to me.

  14. The stone is very inspiring for sure. There is no limit to what can flow from such a treasure, as your post beautifully shows.