Longford is wild and beautiful. Have you ever noticed?
Living in the middle of it sometimes we forget. I like to admire it in the quietness when letting my dinosaurs loose in the early morning. By dinosaurs I mean chickens but that is how wild and wonderful Longford is, she takes you right back if you’ll let her.
Back to when time began and the world was young and full of hope.
If you stay still enough you might even see through the veil of this time and into all that ages that went before us in the very spot we stand. People populated Longford very early on, the county is covered in raths, dolmens and ancient burial grounds.
Sometime I think “I see dead people”, or maybe otherworldly ones. Either way they’re not frightening, they just are.
Often it takes someone from outside the county to show us how wonderful it is. Only at the weekend two young Galway men told us they never “saw so much nature”.
Yes, I did say from Galway! Galway, the place everyone thinks is the wild west, the place we all go to to be with nature yet two of her natives think we live in the “greenest” place they’ve ever seen, full of trees and birds and teeming with life. Who knew?
Well we knew. We always knew, that’s why despite all the leaving behind of successive governments and taking the piss of us by mostly exLongford people in Dublin and other “cosmopolitan” concrete cages we like to stay here among the trees, lakes and stories. The pisstakers doth protest too much me thinks.
Truly they just miss it, they just don’t realise it.
Not to worry, Fuamnach might brew up a storm to bring them home.
The Galway visitors admired our wild garden teeming with insects and birds and I smiled to myself thinking “Why thank you, that took years of not mowing”. Neglect some might say, perhaps that’s why Longford is so lovely, neglect.
Neglect has left our land wild and perhaps our people with it. Maybe, after all, that has been a good thing, though those who neglected us never intended a good result. In their plan to “leave us behind” they’ve left us in a little piece of heaven.
Neglect has left Longford with one of the lowest income per capita, that neglect has left us resilient and creative.
Neglect has left Longford with a mixing pot of nations all struggling together, that neglect has left us open to learning from and accepting of others.
Neglect has left us as a community.
Neglect has left us resilient, proud and wild just like our land.
Wild and wonderful Longford, has an opportunity to lead the rest of the country in how to let the wilderness live side by side with us in harmony and so protect nature and the future of our children.
Will we do it? or will we let the monster that is industrial farming and poisoning of our waters and land encroach more and more as it has throughout the rest of this artificially green land of Ireland?
Will we lead by example by continuing to protecting through neglect? That is how we protect nature, we neglect to develop her land and then she flourishes.
Only this week we’ve been admiring our Hawthorn whose blooms are quite spectacular this year. Longford people have been whispering to each other how wonderfully pretty she is.
Why don’t we celebrate her as a nation like Japan celebrated the cherry blossom? I asked. A local legend, Michael Masterson replied that maybe Longford could lead in that.
Wouldn’t that be a nice little step in celebrating our wildness? Let’s start celebrating Longford by celebrating the Fairy Tree, that is the Hawthorn. It would make Midir Proud. Sign the petition here:
Our lone hawthorns and hedgerows are disappearing at a fierce rate along with a lot of our Heritage and Biodiversity. If we turn a light on the beauty of the Hawthorn we might help turn this around.
The Fairy Tree : https://youtu.be/4zIWizf_FOg
Centre of the Universe (Another word for Longford, in case you didn’t know!) : https://anngeretysmyth.com/2020/05/21/centre-of-the-universe/