With a lot of help from labnol.org
There’s a rock up here, near the top of Tonduff East, which looks out over the source of the River Liffey and Kippure. The rock has been hollowed out by millennia of weather, a bit like a throne. It’s comfortable, you could sit there for hours, watch the view, thinking how many other people have done exactly that on an August evening, taking it all in, trying your best to ignore the midges. There’s peace up there and solitude. The lonely hags watching on, stoic and enduring in their contorted shapes.
I come back to this place for fear that one day I won’t find it, or my hips will let me down or worse. There’s a compulsion about it, a need, a vacuum. I’m drawn inexplicably and each time it’s the same, the rush of young river, white noise of water, susurrous on old rock, dank air hitting the back of the throat. I’m drawn again.
So here I find myself a scant calendar month after being to the top of Africa, back up these lonely Wicklow hills again. Dusk late in October on the Sugarloaf, colder than I’ve ever been, wind whistling around with this beautiful, low, winter light filleting the day and night.
Pure and clean, sharp as crystal,