“Read my river, please! Though I wouldn’t know which one to submit…” –T
I love that you have many rivers! Your descriptions of them are leading me on fascinating explorations. And all the while I keep chanting under my breath “many rivers.”
I just figured out why this tickles. Many Rivers is what Irish-English poet David Whyte named his company. In today’s next delightful synchronicity, his most recent collection, River Flow (Many Rivers Press, 2007) includes “The Seven Streams”:
Perhaps you branch and branch like they do… like lawyer turned mediator; spiritual seeker; beloved source of light and sustenance as daughter, sister, friend, wife; painter; poet and writer; yoga teacher; and most miraculously, #7: mother to a toddler and a babe. For…
“… in the northern part of the Parish of Kilnaboy is a townland called Teeskagh and near it a mountain called Slieve na Glaisé, the mountain of the celebrated cow called Glas Ghoibhneach, said to have belonged to the smith, Lon Mac Loimhtha, the first that ever made edged weapons in Ireland. He lived in a cave in this mountain unknown to all the Scoti except the few who lived in his immediate vicinity. He had lived a long time in Ireland before his art was in requisition, for before his time the Irish used no iron or steel implements of war, but fought with sticks having stone, flint and bronze heads. Lon was for many years supported by his invaluable cow called Glas Gaibhneach which used to graze not far from his forge on the mountain of Sliabh na Glaise which abounds in most beautiful rills and luxuriant pasturage. He had found no other retired spot in Ireland sufficiently fertile to feed the Glas but this. This cow would fill with her milk any vessel, be it never so large, into which she was milked, and it became a saying in the neighbourhood that no vessel could be found which the Glas would not fill at one milking. At last two women laid a wager on this point, one insisting that no vessel, be it never so large, could be found in Ireland which the smith’s cow would not fill, and the other that there could. The bets being placed in secure hands, the latter lady went to her barn and took out a sieve which she took to Slieve na Glaise, and into which, by consent of Lon Mac Liomhtha, she milked the cow. And behold! the milk, passing through the bottom of the sieve and even overflowing it, fell to the ground and divided into seven rivulets called Seacht Srotha na t-Aéscaíghe, the Seven Streams of the overflowing. Taescach, i.e., the overflowing, is now the name of a Townland lying to the west of Slieve na Glaise. Clear streams of water now run through the channels then formed by the copious floods of the milk of the Glas.”
— Excerpted from an 1839 collection in the Clare County Library
Your vulnerabilities walking on the cracked sliding limestone, those very openings sieve the charmed rivulets into flowing…
back into the one mountain with pasturage luxuriant enough to feed she who supports so many.
I suspect you share this secret of the ancient Overflowing — a rock mountain you dip back into, faulted, abundant, and nourishing.
Happy Birthday, Beloved Taescach.