View of Classiebawn Castle, with Ben Bulben in the background, Mullaghmore, Co. Sligo
"… Sligo was a different habitation. A small and beautiful town situated almost at the western edge of Europe, it was bounded by green fields, mountains, and the sea, and its narow streets were lined with small shops. At the quays there were boats loading and unloading, and sailors with stories that made the world seem “full of monsters and marvels”. Over the town to the west loomed the mountain Knocknarea, on its flat top an enormous mound supposed to contain the remains of Queen Maeve; to the north beyond Drumcliff stood Ben Bulben, the long stone outcrop ending in a massive, razor-sharp edge. With its mists and changing colours, its ancient mysterious mounds and dolmens, Sligo was a place where one could easily believe in a world of magic.”
'Prodigal Father: The Life of John Butler Yeats (1839-1922)', William M. Murphy,
(London: Cornell University Press, 1978)
Moving back home with my parents was difficult. I struggled in Glasgow, my last couple of months there were difficult, personally and financially. A couple of days after moving back into my teenage bedroom I asked my Dad to drive me around Sligo, specifically so I could see one of my favourite views in the world, that is what you see above. A picture cannot accurately convey the beauty of this part of the country, in North Sligo. I swell with pride, some remorse and an overwhelming sense of awe. I always feel like I'm seeing Classiebawn for the first time when we drive down this coastline road.
I'm attempting to make the best of what I have. I'm lucky to have this on my doorstep (well, on the road leading from my doorstep anyway). Sligo is cradled between these two mountains of legend. Ben Bulben to the north and Knocknarea to the South. When I was a teenager I was always aching for somewhere else, the Americana of novels, now I can understand Emily Brontë's relationship with the Yorkshire moors. Although, I know that I will have to leave, possibly face the reality of emigration, a part of me nurses the hope that I will someday make permanent roots here, in this ancient, beguiling landscape.