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‘There is a spring across the way,’ she says, as she points her finger toward the mountain opposite.

Carrying our empty bottles,
she sets us off on our journey to the other side on this last hazy, summer evening.
We push our way through the warm air,
scattering in all directions parcels of pollen like glowing, tiny orbs of life-giving potential.
A pool of light sits in the hollow of the valley, gradually fading with the weakening sun
that withdraws between the two resting mountains.
The last light flashes before our eyes and we turn sharply north
toward the mountain that beckons us with its cool, blue stillness.

We walk along the base of the mountain, the soft ground sprung by the buoyant heather underfoot.
The deadened thumps of our feet on the earth follows us
until we are up to our knees in the silty, black waters of the ribbon lake that halts us in our tracks.
There is no other way but to wade our way through
to the distant sound of trickling water that draws us to a gap in the rocks.

We face the bank and see the spring–freezing, clear waters running down from on high and into the depths of the lake in which we stand.
An agonising ache begins to travel up our legs
as we approach the point where the two waters meet;
and the pain in our bodies transforms into joy and
we smile as the clouds close in over our heads.

The Spring, 2020. [version 2, revised 2023]

Méadhbh O’Connor, Irish contemporary artist. Multimedia and sculptural installation, image making, written and spoken word. To explore a selection of my work please click on the drop-down menu.