Silence in Killarney

The small, blue cockleshell in the reed didn?t look very confident. We climbed carefully into the boats and the boatsmen started. The snort of the ponies died away behind us. Our boat glided over the water of the lake, silently and quietly. After a while I saw a tall rock and deep gorges opened itselves like mouths in front of us. The boatsmen navigated to one of them. High stony mountains surrounded our boats, I could only see a small piece of the grey sky high above us. A gnarled tree lowered down to the water as if he was shaped by fighting against wind and storm during all the years he stood growing there. I heard the shriek of an eagle high up in the sky, too high to see him. The echo came back to us three times. The boatsmen left the gorge and drove out onto a giant lake. The wind dragged on my jacket and on my orange rescue waistcoat, small waves ruffled on the water around us. The points of the mountains around the lake disappeared in clouds and fog. No one spoke or dared to breathe, pure silence enclosed us. Suddenly the clouds shifted a little bit and the sun broke through. Some rays came down and bathed the surroundings into hazy light. I saw an ancient castle on the shore, built with big crude stones. It seemed that time had stopped. My eyes could see through the centuries to an age long long ago which was lost for a long time. Every moment it was possible that a knight appeared, riding on his strong horse. My imagination showed me small people wearing old and dirty clothes made from coarse wool. Their faces were wrinkled and weathered from working
under a scorching sun, heavy rain and in the always blowing wind. Their hands were dirty from digging up the potatoes on the bleak slopes. I got a feeling for all the people of the past centuries who
worked hard to wrench what they needed to survive from the cold country in hard and arduous times. The feeling was deep respect. I took a deep breath and the pictures disappeared.

B Neumann

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