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Moving to Lisdoonvarna
About the Author:
The author, Nancy Chambers, was born in Dublin. Following her childhood in County Clare, she lived in England for 30 years before moving to Wales. With a passion for Celtic History and Art, she is well placed to pursue these interests.
About the Book:
Nine-year-old Áine becomes rebellious when she learns that she is to move from her idyllic surroundings at Rockville, in County Clare. Living halfway up a mountain in the Burren has given her an affinity with the earliest inhabitants of that place - the Celts, which will be with her throughout her life.
Áine’s grandfather, a retired headmaster, concerned abut her reaction to the forthcoming move, decides to prepare her, not merely for the change which is due to take place, but also for life’s journey. For Áine his story became a fascinating, frustrating, rollercoaster of emotions, which relied on her unbounded love and admiration for him, to keep her steadfast throughout. It was to be a story for which she learned to be truly grateful as she journeyed onwards: one which helped to explain why he had chosen that out-of-the-way place to spend his life, helping others to get the best out of theirs.
This is the story that Áine shares with her grandson, as they spend time in her favourite place: the place of her childhood, believing that this will prepare him, as it did her, for whatever is to come.
A light in the darkness
Mum had announced at breakfast, that all the packing would need to be completed before Granddad emerged. She would take him his breakfast tray as usual, then it would be all hands on deck and we should be ready to leave after lunch. I had tried to be positive, acknowledging that autumn, winter and spring had come and gone since the bombshell was dropped concerning the move. I had returned to school feeling much happier about all that lay ahead. My resolution to note the seasonal changes remained uppermost in my mind, and the time sped by. During the winter months I had gone back over my journey with Granddad, and sometimes we chatted about those things, which had perplexed me. I certainly spent a lot of time thinking about how those nomadic people would have felt, particularly in the light of my own move. Granddad avoided telling me that their situation and mine bore no comparison. After all I was only moving three miles, and to a lovely modern bungalow. However, he knew how I felt, and he didn’t need to point out the obvious.
The arrangement was that Patrick would travel with Dad, but Mum and I would walk the three-mile distance, using the lower road, because Rooska was situated at that end of the town. There were to be no awkward moments as we parted company, because Mum had already put her case as she saw it, but I couldn’t look at Granddad as I hugged him, and began to turn away. As I did so, he took my hand and placed a brown paper package in it, ‘This one is very old and dog-eared like me, but I hope it serves you well.’ A quick look inside the package confirmed that he had given me his personal Bible. Then I looked at him, handed the parcel to Mum and fled.
I continued to gaze at the candle flame as the realization flowed over me. Suddenly I knew that I was crying, but it didn’t worry me; it felt rather like a stream rushing over a dry river bed, which had become parched in the drought, but was about to come back to life, so that even the lifeless stones would sparkle in the sunlight. Like the stream, which had its source deep in the earth, the tears led me to what had become my pit, where they had been bottled up. The tears flowed out and the memories flowed back, but my gaze remained fixed on the candle flame, the flame which helped to light my journey backwards to my inner being.
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