Ode to Boro Part 2

My earliest childhood memories bring me back to the wonderful
riverside of Wexford, to a beautiful and enchanted place- Castle
Boro. We would come here on weekends as a family, and the place
has remained the same over the years. A tranquil and serene scene,
one of the many hidden treasures that the country side has to
Down the road we would wander and stop to picnic with flasks of
steaming hot lemon tea and egg sandwiches. Munching and
gulping with fingers rummaging in Tayto crisp bags. Licking the salt
from sticky fingers as we ambled over the old Boro Bridge, ivy clad
and strong. Standing for hundreds of years, history in those stones.
Stories to tell. Moss adorning the topmost bricks here and there in
thick tufts.
This serene bridge my father painted and depicted many times.
Sitting for hours in the baking sun with brushes, paints and easel,
his heart ensnared by the beauty of the flowing river. Using oils and
pastels to capture the greens and greys as he painted away and
watched the beauty unfold. Sparkling water pouring quickly under,
rising and falling steeply in small gushes, foaming and frothing
white, rushing over rocks. Immortalised forever on canvas, ever
moving, even when still.
Crossing over the bridge, through the black and white iron gate
shaped like a half moon, and across the fields, was a spit of sand.
An island of trees. Mysterious and captivating. The abandoned
Castle Boro above, daunting and foreboding. Windows gaping and
glassless. The river flowing swiftly as the luminous algae lined the
surface like glossy, green hair. An ode to Sir John Everett Millet’s
“Ophelia”. Swaying slowly but staying in one spot.
Beautiful and mesmerising.
As children we would play on the silty banks under the rich amber
beech trees. Beech nuts crunching underfoot, little helmets for
fairies. Running around after white and dusty blue butterflies that
danced daintily in the summer breeze, our trouser legs soggy and
bunched up. Kicking off our sandals and feeling the muddy sand
and tiny stones oozing between our feet. Poking at the river with
sticks looking for tiny silver fish as they darted in and out of the
algae. Making mud pies and mud people with the soft ochre clay.
Digging our small fingers into the wet mess as our mother would
adorn our heads with crowns made of leaves. Princesses of the wild.
All these wonderful memories by streams, brooks, bridges and
rivers of Wexford, with my family, hold a place close to my heart.
The beauty of the natural world, with all its tiny details and
symbioses has moulded me into the person I am today.
Nature continues, even as time changes.
The river will always flow in you.