Donegal – A Place Called Home
Donegal has always felt like home, despite spending the first 45 years of my life in Scotland.
It is a heart thing.
My childhood summers were spent here in Ireland, at my maternal grandfather’s or grandja’s home, which overlooked Mullaghderg Lake – far away from shops, in days when most people grew their own vegetables, and reared chickens and cows.
Although life was tough, everyone pulled together and helped their neighbours with harvesting hay, cutting turf, thatching…
My three sisters and I learned to swim in Mullaghderg Lake – in all weathers.
I loved the feel of the cool fresh water on my skin, and I could happily have swum for ever…
If the sun shone, my mother and my aunt would escort ten of us children (myself and my sisters, plus six cousins) to Mullaghderg Beach. It felt like a very long walk, through peat bogs, and mossy banks, along ancient tracks and stone walls…
The Swimming Strand
The swimming strand is a little cove, set back from the main beach, sheltered from strong tides, with rocky diving boards that enticed the more adventurous of us children.
Although the water temperature was somewhat more refreshing than the lake, it did not hamper our enthusiasm for swimming.
My mother and my aunt were able to relax for a few hours, far away from housework and cooking, before we all enjoyed a picnic of sandwiches and lemonade – sustenance for the long walk back to Mullaghderg Mountain.
Reminiscing on Days of Old
I regularly return to walk the long beach at Mullaghderg, or to clamber over rocks at the swimming strand, reminiscing on days of old.
“Bring the sky beneath your feet and listen to celestial music everywhere.”
Mullaghderg Beach is perhaps 5km away from my home, and outside the current 2km walking restrictions.
I look forward to returning when guidelines are more relaxed.
Meanwhile, I have a choice of other beautiful walks. My favourite takes me past the village car park, which skirts the mighty Atlantic:
Past the hotel with views out to sea:
Stopping off to breath in the beauty of the Atlantic:
Before sitting down to count my blessings, at the end of another day.
A Welcome Seat
If you enjoyed this post you might also like more of my posts on Beach Walks in Donegal.
Brigid P. Gallagher is a retired natural medicines therapist, passionate organic gardener and author of “Watching the Daisies- Life lessons on the Importance of Slow,” a holistic memoir dedicated to the art of mindfulness and healing from debilitating illness.
She lives in Donegal, Ireland – an area of outstanding natural beauty.
Book Trailer: https://youtu.be/r5GCjaetgZk
Categories: Beach Walks