“I found me a diamond when I was mining for coal” – The Aran Islands

the aran islands

One of the really incredible aspects to living back on my beloved island is how on a daily basis, I find myself getting pleasantly surprised.


It’s fair to say that over the course of the years that I have seen almost all this wonderful island has to offer – but, sometimes its the light, the time of the day, the tide and more often where I’m at in myself – but every single day my senses get a delightful surprise.

Yesterday evening I walked up the pump road and a number of times as I pushed on upwards and felt my lungs opening up, the soft air on my face and my legs tighten , every so often , I became aware of the most beautiful , sweet, natural and almost intoxicating smell.

Now I am almost certain that I have smelled Wild Honeysuckle before but; 1) honey suckle is more fragrant in the evening; 2) there was a wonderful, spontaneous and natural awareness that manifested itself as a pleasant surprise to me.

Surprise two actually took my breath away, as I came to the top of my final climb – I saw the island at its narrowest point and below me was the village of Gort na gCapall . Truthfully what couldn’t logically be described as a surprise, was the angle that I viewed as it sits perched on the cliff edge majestically was the unique beauty of Dun Aonghasa making a familiar silhouette on the western sky as the sun set.

I didn’t expect my breath to be taken away just like that and what started out as a walk to regain some degree of fitness turned to one of the moments in life that literally took my breath away.

A great American singer once sang “I found me a diamond when I was mining for coal”

We get that every day on my beloved island.


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