Tag Archives: nature

Wuthering Wind

We marry the rough and tumble

You and I,

We drift in the babbling wind of a sultry sky,

Distant door chimes softly ringing,

Cohesive synergetic hymning,

Games and ladders

Slides and swings,

Nodding, bobbing, to shore we swim.

Every heart beat, every pulsing rhythm,

Mine, yours and every them,

Parting, joining, shrugging, flinging,

For now and always we are living,

Pulsing, darting, shredding, hearting,

Together, never far removed,

Makes me think ‘so what is freedom’?

When clasped we are by the wuthering wind!

©Copyright Caroline Cunningham 2017

Caroline Cunningham is the Author of The Whisperings of Nature – a collection of 15 Nature-inspired poems offering comfort, wisdom and inspiration – Go Shopping!

Note: Wuthering Wind is not included in The Whisperings of Nature poetry collection.

What are your thoughts on ‘Wuthering Wind’? How does the sound of wind make you feel?

 

Irelands Summer Solstice

Since writing this poem in 2015, I have become a self-published author! My book ‘The Whisperings of Nature’ was launched in April 2017 and is available via my on-line shop.

The poetry in this book are inspired by nature, offering comfort, wisdom and inspiration. Irelands Summer Solstice is one of the poems in The Whisperings of Nature.

Here you can decide if indeed my poetry is for you or someone in your life who appreciates Nature as I do.

Read reviews of other readers of my book – read reviews!

Purchase the book itself – go shopping!

Summer Solstice Ireland

IRELANDS SUMMER SOLSTICE

Moving through Irelands Summer’s Solstice,

We are graced with extraordinary light,

Our Earthly position points us steadily towards our closest star.

This is a time of gratitude,

Long may this feeling last,

I can sit outside my door and breath and glow,

With loose shoulders and a happy heart.

I am absorbing and storing this feeling

As I am not so fond of the damp, cold, darkness of Irish winter

The last sliver of light in the clouded horizon taunts me to accept the extreme,

As I learn to accept the extremes of my own temperament.

Winter will bring the excuse for fires and stories,

For some, the excuse to hold on tighter to the one most loved.

I hold that image of the summer’s night time mountain

This is the reward for a long nights work.

The Solstice Sky reflects an ocean of foreverness

And I am endlessly lost and found in the depths of it.

Divinely connected to the billions

Threading the sphere of our existence,

Long may this feeling last.

Happy is my heart.

© Caroline Cunningham

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Tree Top Getaway – Cloud Forest Jungle Peru

Santa Teresa beguiled my senses of the risky road that delivered me to its leafy sleepy tropical surrounds. I welcomed the melting temperatures that embraced my body parts inside and out. According to my booking details Eco Quechua Lodge was not far from the centre of the village. I was at a loss as to which road to take however, so a taxi was required. Another traveler had prompted me to stay here. ‘A tree house in the tree tops,’ was how she described it. It sounded heavenly.

Eco Quechua Lodge Peru - Wild Star Landing

Eco Quechua Lodge Peru – Wild Star Landing

Heaven was well disguised. A narrow sandy path lined with coffee trees led the taxi car to a simple hut proposing to be a shop, one that was quite bare and lacking in change (coins). To the left, a series of stepping stones led steeply to a wooden terrace amongst the tree tops. Like a curious child I hopped giddily from stone to stone arriving at the wooden sheltered platform. Bowls of ripe avocados and bananas greeted me. From the balcony I absorbed the beauty of the tree top canopy of the jungle cloud forest. Exotic flowers bloomed effortlessly from pots and transported earth. The air was sweet and exotic with so many new scents. The sun beamed serenely for this time of afternoon. I was at once at ease and surrendering to a blissful feeling.

Tree Top Paradise Peru - Wild Star Landing

Tree Top Paradise Peru – Wild Star Landing

The owner ‘Kiki’ appeared and gave me a warm welcome. He had a few rooms available and offered me a choice. I was sold on the first he presented, a makeshift space of almost three surrounding walls consisting of thin branches, loosely bound planks and a roof of matted twigs and nest-like vegetation with an open balcony providing glimpses of the Urubamba (Vilcanota) river below. A simple mesh net proposed to protect the sleeper from the jungles tiny creatures in the twilight hours. I was not leaving this room. It was mine for the next two nights.

Glimpsing the Urubamba River beneath the trees

Glimpsing the Urubamba River beneath the trees

A romantic location it surely was and it was especially the place for lovers. Beneath the eaves of the main reception platform I savoured a simple meal of rice and chicken and sampled a Pisco Sour. Couples quietly ate their meals before retiring to their tree top quarters which were intimately spaced together.

Tree House Style - Peru Cloud Forest

Tree House Style – Peru Cloud Forest

This would certainly be the place that my novel heroine Kitty Clinch would have chosen to bring her Peruvian lover. What of this Kitty Clinch of my creation? Would she really go through with her plans to settle and end her days hitched in Peru? What would it take to make such a move? I had to find out so as to write more authentically about this woman who was compelled to radically change her life.

Eco Quechua Lodge Peru

Eco Quechua Lodge Peru

In the night time bodies enveloped each other, some more noisily than others. The Urubamba sighed heavily at the feet of the trees that jostled at the edge of my open balcony. Water cleaved the rocks below at a steady breathy pace. An outrageous giggle from the other side of the partition to my left gave an uncanny feeling of being part of some voyeuristic party. It was not the place for loneliness but I considered it momentarily. I was fortunate to have the opportunity to be in this special place. To come alone or with another, did it really matter? Yes it mattered entirely. I would rather be alone than to have a watered down memory of a touch that was not filled with the heart-depth of another.

I could take the river and the trees and the jungle night time air in this paradise destination and they could take all of me. A soul filled with beauty eventually tires itself to sleep. I slept soundly.

© Caroline Cunningham Author of Wild Star Landing

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A Special Energy in Ollantaytambo – Journey In Peru

‘There is a special energy here,’ this I heard said many times during my stay in Ollantaytambo in Cuzco’s Sacred Valley. Local Peruvians and visitors from far away were in agreement on this.

I remembered my first visit the previous year. For sure it had struck me that of all the places in Peru I had visited, there was something in this place that had intrigued me to know it better.

Night Fall in Ollantaytambo Peru

Night Fall in Ollantaytambo Peru

So I returned to find out what that something was. A month had passed. My own energies had fluctuated many times with adjustment to higher altitude, attempting to speak a new language and alignment with a new culture.

Along with this, the flux of tourists and highway traffic trundling through the plaza contrasted with the quiet hollow hours of evening when all deserted it and locals sought the shelter of their concrete homes.

Photo by Caroline Cunningham

Photo by Caroline Cunningham

In my evening walk about the town it was more apparent, a special energy.

Was it the cobbled stones that brought more awareness to my feet and the weight of my stepping? Was it the greater mass of rock that had been forced to surface and form on this southern earth-sphere, enticing elements of our galaxy more strongly to itself? Or was it the escaping ions from the water that lashed against the rocks as it plummeted from those high phalanges of the Andes? Was it contained within the granite stones that the Incas carried to this town to construct the Sun Temple now called the Fortaleza.

Or was it something that was carried deep within a folk descended from Inca’s, such as a deep regard for mountains and rivers and condors?

Highway traffic through World UNESCO Town of Ollantaytabmo Peru

Highway traffic through World UNESCO Town of Ollantaytabmo Peru

Temple Of The Sun - Fortaleza, Ollantaytambo, Peru

Temple Of The Sun – Fortaleza, Ollantaytambo, Peru

I could not ascertain an answer to any of these questions except that I was glad I had returned to find out.

Yes there was a special energy. It was already finding a resting place in my heart and it was set to travel with me on my return to Ireland. And when that time came I had a better inkling as to the answer.

Inca Window in Fortaleza, Ollantaytambo, Peru

Inca Window in Fortaleza, Ollantaytambo, Peru

Have you been to Ollantaytambo (Cuzco, Peru)? Were you one of those who remarked about its special energy? I would love to know your thoughts on this, please leave a comment below.

© Caroline Cunningham Author Of Wild Star Landing

Avena and Veronica

Waking up on an icy blue morning in the high Andes of Peru you might just shiver a bit as you contemplate your swift moves from the weighty blankets of your bed to the clothes you cleverly laid out the night before within arms reach. A cardigan to warm you as you make your way outside to the shower which thankfully is electric and guaranteed to be warm for at least two minutes. I made these moves many mornings as I got my act together for the day ahead.               I am a creature of comforts and only swap them for the thrill of an adventure. I gave my adventure wings when I bought the ticket to fly me to Peru and the landed myself in a small town, which happens to be a ‘Living Inca Musuem’ by the name of Ollantaytambo. I quickly realised that going to bed early (9pm) was a great idea. In July and August the temperatures drop from mid 20 (degrados) to sometimes minus one or two. It was too cold to stay up and I didn’t understand the Spanish TV just yet. I was usually well awake before 6am and already learning my Spanish and writing my letters to friends and family back home.

As I started my Peruvian life I was about to discover the things that made waking up a delight to every Peruvian. Food is certainly a factor. My host Qeta at Qusiqoller invited me to join her for a daily helping of Avena, the closest thing to porridge that I discovered here. A more finely ground grain than the oats I had been accustomed to, more runny and with some cinnamon and apple added. It warmed me and since it was home-made it was certainly appreciated.

And the other thing that made my heart beat with extra warmth after having my hot Avena breakfast? The sight of Glacier Veronica as I made my way to the square passing the country people collecting their grass to fatten their goats and sheep. Veronica! It’s my mothers name so it seemed as if it was purposely there to remind me of my own home. The mountains are as sacred to the Peruvians today as they were to their Inca descendants. They represent Apu’s, Gods, protectors of the people. Tropical glaciers certainly are important to the agriculture and water supply of these lands. But the sight of this Glacier with it’s brilliant white cap against the dazzling blue sky and its snow white  river known as ‘Sacred Tears’ gave me great joy as i greeted the busy day in this thriving town. Men running with backpacks of the Inca trailer tourists, whizzed passed me on these mornings, perhaps full of Avena and the sight of Veronica.

And I was part of all of this wonderment for nine weeks of my precious life. I had no idea the impact it would have on me then and I am only slowly coming to terms with it now.  Thank God for Avena and the sight of Veronica in a Peruvian land.

Avena, Traditional Peruvian Food, Travel Writer Caroline Cunningham tells a story about life in the Peruvian town of Ollantaytambo, Sacred Valley, Cuzco

To The Market – Urubamba

There is a saying in Ireland that goes like this: ‘the way to a mans heart is through his stomach’. However, I don’t think any human being could forget the sight, smell or taste of the organic, home grown food produced in Peru’s Sacred Valley.

Urubamba has a large indoor market and is less than 30 minutes drive from Ollantaytambo (where I lived for 9 weeks in 2013). It costs 1 Sol 50 cents to go by mini-van with stunning views of the mountains and Urubamba river to be admired along the way.

Wednesday is the best day to go as, that is the day when the freshest produce is available. So off I went on a Wednesday to see for myself. It was tremendous to be surrounded by so many good things that Pacha Mama/Mother Earth created. I absorbed it all, the colours, the earthy and fruity smells and the busy atmosphere of the market.

One elderly man spoke to me in what I assumed to be Quechua (the language of the Incas). I remembered some phrases that my Ollantaytambo friends had been teaching me and found the words to ask ‘how are you?’ The elderly man sat up in grand surprise and smiling from ear to ear he stretched forward to offer me his hand in a friendly shake. I giggled to myself thinking ‘he must have understood my Quechua.’

I took many photos and even tried on clothes, discovering rather indelicately that I am a bit larger in size than the Peruvian ladies. ‘Grande! Grande’!’ I was told by one sales woman as she shouted for all to hear. There were only 3 sizes available, Small, Grande and Extra Grande. We ended up laughing about my reaction to being told I was LARGE….back in Europe I am much smaller!

I did to my detriment, however, eat a marvelous strawberry that was handed to me by one stall owner. In my delight I ignored the rule about ‘washing all fruit’ before eating and next morning after a lengthy session in the baňos (loo) my landlady enquired ‘what did you eat at the market?’ I groaned when I thought of the strawberry, it was delicious at the time but had malicious consequences.

I now look back in humour and leave you with some photographs in memory of that day…spot the strawberry ( O; and stay tuned for more about Peruvian food and Life in Ollantaytambo, Peru.