Following Tommy and Kaitlyn on their magical tour of Ireland was like re-living my own experience touring it with Anne in 2014. Has it really been that long?
As Kaitlyn and Tommy talked with their travel agent about different locations…one particular place and name caught Kaitlyn’s eye. It was called Ard Na Sidhe in the Ring of Kerry and meant “Hill of the Fairies.” (I am so glad this name caught Kaitlyn’s imagination…because it proved to be a quite magical place…from the scenery entering it to the gardens and rooms…just awe-inspiring.)
Let me show you some photos Kaitlyn sent that hopefully will stir your imagination too…fairy tale woods, luscious gardens, fireplaces with peat providing the heat, sunsets, sunrises …it wouldn’t be hard to believe one had landed in another mystical land filled with the “little people.” See for yourself.
I searched to find the ‘story behind the story’ of Ard Na Sideh (“Hill of the fairies”) and the closest I came derived from the brewery there (every place in Ireland has a brewery as one discovers) and that Sidhe is pronounced “Shee” which means a fairy…fairies of Irish folklore! But as you can see in the article below…these fairies are not your typical little “Tinker Bell” fairies.
Down through the ages the Sidhe have been in contact with mortals giving protection, healing and even teaching some of their skills to mortals – Smithcraft or the working of metals being one such skill. .
The Gaelic word sí or síog refers to these otherworldly beings now called fairies. The Irish fairy is not like the diminutive fairies of other European countries, the Sidhe are described as tall and handsome in all accounts, also they are dressed very richly and accounts of their halls are of richly decorated places with sumptuous foods and drinks.
The Sidhe are generally benign until angered by some foolish action of a mortal. Many trees and mounds are considered under their protection and if a mortal destroys or damages these then a curse is put upon himself and his family. In some parts of the countryside people would not build their houses over certain “fairy paths” because of the type of disturbances which would ensue.
Whenever a host of the Sidhe appears there is a strange sound like the humming of thousands of flying insects- flies or bees forming a whirlwind or shee-gaoithe…usually in remote areas of a garden or deep woods.
…And particularly be careful…the Irish “banshee” wails near the time of one’s death and it is (still) considered an honor to have her there. (Personally…I think I would like to wait on that “honor” a little longer! 🙂
*I had just gotten this far into the blog when I got a text from Kaitlyn telling me about an incident that happened while staying at the “Hill of the Fairies.” (I had left Kaitlyn a phone message earlier in the day telling her I was doing a blog post on this “stop” in their vacation.)
“Ard na sidhe was very magical. Walking around the grounds you felt very transported. One day when Tommy and I were walking we could hear some animal making a call of some sort. Tommy and I laughed because these tiny little bugs flew right into our faces and we were thinking ‘What was that?’ Later we joked and said it must be the fairies…up our noses and in our eyes.”
Kaitlyn and Tommy brought me back a fairy…but this fairy came from Dingle with instructions on what to feed her (flower petals and sequins) and an adoption paper from her….Rose Dingle.
Kaitlyn found her at a shop called Shimmerling that she found on their Facebook page.
Thank y’all for bringing me a lucky fairy home….Welcome Rose!
So until tomorrow…Let us appreciate all the wonders and mysteries of God’s magical world.
“Today is my favorite day” Winnie the Pooh
*Stay tuned tomorrow for another unsolved mystery…this time closer to home…in fact it is located in Anne Peterson’s home…”The Mystery of the Reappearing Chapel.” Stay tuned!