I can never forget that I’m living in a remote corner of the woods when somebody sends me a parcel by carrier. Letters are great since the postman comes every day and even if the only address or determining mark on the envelope is for an author “somewhere in Arigna”, it appears to get to my door eventually.
However parcels are different. And carriers are constantly under pressure and the exact location of where I live has constantly been a matter of conflict. Although there’s no challenging the truths. I am on the Roscommon side of the border.
Even though Leitrim is what I view from the garden and the postal address is Lough Allen, which is in Leitrim, the indisputable reality is that my fields are Roscommon fields.
Last week my publisher sent me complimentary copies of my brand-new book, to the postal address. And though I’m just a field or more outside the county border, it didn’t cut ice with the courier providing to Leitrim when he found that he had a parcel for Roscommon. If his shipments were for Leitrim then plainly no one would expect him to cross into a foreign county or to increase roads so remote that he might suddenly happen a corner and discover himself in a various universe; a universe of Sitka trees and rushy fields.
Although, the trees around me are wood. I planted them myself, and recently I saw a squirrel balancing like a tightrope walker on the fence and stretching his whole body upwards to connect his two paws and then get the floating ash branch above him; he was successful well and up he flew into the ash tree and disappeared.
I like squirrels and I like wood trees and certainly it’s not Sitka trees per se that trouble me; it’s the seclusion of elderly folk who are left amongst the forests, watching the dark barks and dense green phalanxes sneaking insidiously up the slopes towards their homes, darkening the skies and eliminating their views.
There’s no such forest near me yet, but the planting has begun nearby and I can see the saplings on nearby hills that will one day end up being patches of dark barren green.
It would be lovely to think of a fantastic surge in the population of Leitrim and Roscommon in the coming years.
Men and ladies who have actually lived all their lives in the exact same unvarying landscape and grown old with nature’s soft contours enfolding them like a mother, feel a deep injury when the view is taken away.
When the carrier discovered my home, and reminded me that I was living in Roscommon which he had actually come out of his way with my parcel, I felt grateful. I thanked him for coming.
” My God!” he stated, taking a look at the lake, “you have an amazing view.”
I concurred, although I worry if it will constantly exist, or if a time may come when there disappear couriers increasing our road; not due to the fact that we’re in Roscommon or Leitrim but due to the fact that in time there may be no one at all left anywhere in rural Ireland. And then it won’t matter which county I called house, because when it is covered in trees everything will have been forgotten.
This potential catastrophe rumbles below the feet of many impoverished farmers and ageing bachelors across the west, who can not pay for to do anything however sell their land to whomever chooses to invest in trees.
It would be lovely to envision a terrific surge in the population of Leitrim and Roscommon in the coming years, because rural Ireland is a charming place to live. And possibly if we ever recover from Covid-19 more individuals will rediscover the pleasures of rural living.
Personally, I hope to stick it out as long as I can in this gorgeous landscape with my fantastic neighbours, remote and isolated though we be. I fear a day may come in the future when strangers roam up into the hills above Lough Allen and wonder why a cluster of hardwood trees would stand so defiantly versus a brooding skyline of forest. And apart from the squirrels there will be nobody delegated inform them who we were.