A Christmas Childhood

My father played the melodeon,

My mother milked the cows,

Bealtaine Cottage, Ireland

A Christmas Childhood


Patrick Kavanagh

(Bealtaine Cottage in the snow…looking down the driveway in the week before Christmas, 2010.)

One side of the potato-pits was white with frost-

How wonderful that was, how wonderful!

And when we put our ears to the paling-post

The music that came out was magical.

The light between the ricks of hay and straw

Was a hole in Heaven’s gable. An apple tree

With its December-glinting fruit we saw-

O you, Eve, were the world that tempted me.

(Bealtaine Cottage in the winter of 2010, just coming into the driveway.)

To eat the knowledge that grew in clay

And death the germ within it! Now and then

I can remember something of the gay

Garden that was childhood’s. Again

The tracks of cattle to a drinking-place,

A green stone lying sideways in a ditch

Or any common sight the transfigured face

Of a beauty…

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  1. Thank you for your beautiful photos and mentioning Christmas. I am in my late sixties, but still an absolute child about Christmas. I hate it when people moan about it, and wonder where they keep their soul.
    What is so magical about snow? As a child I would watch for the snow to start, looking out of my bedroom window. There was a lamppost in the street and I persuaded my mother to let me get dressed so that I could stand under the lamp and watch the flakes coming down. I love the way it deadens all the sound, just for a while, nature reigns supreme.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Ah yes, it does deaden the sound…I had quite forgotten about that…so all the senses are engaged! Blessings X


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