Fánaí – this is the Irish word for wanderer and derived from that is fánaíocht, which can be translated as aimlessness wandering. I often find myself walking along hidden walk ways nestled between fields leading nowhere, or hiking along deserted coast lines or seeking out forgotten beaches. Few things make me happier. Even as a kid I was often off by myself exploring the borders of my then world.
This morning, e.g. I took Teddy out for an early walk to the stone circle near where I live. The path leading down to it is a natural tunnel where the trees and shrubs on either side have grown over and their tips have been drawn together to form this incredible tunnel, filled with earthy scents, dappled light and a sense of something quite special.
The stone circle itself is incredible and in the middle is a raised mound. I was sitting on it this morning and was taking in the views all around. Looking towards the Mourne Mountains and on either side you can see many fields, leading off to the horizon. The weather was very changeable and the clouds were racing across the sky and their shadows were flowing over the landscape towards me. One minute I was sitting in the warm early morning sun, then I would watch as the cloud’s shadows headed my way and temporarily cast me in shadow. It was an awesome way to begin the day and I remember just being filled to the brim with happiness and gratitude.
For most of my life I have often headed off by myself (these days always with Teddy), wandering and immersing myself in the landscape and just see where I end up. Thinking about it, I have always had this romanic idea in my mind of an Irish man and his dog heading off with a ruck sack and a walking stick on their next adventure. I am not sure where I got this impression from, but it has certainly shaped me and how I live my life. It all sounds very esoteric but it’s really just looking for the little paths leading off from roads, checking out maps that show beaches that have no roads to them or simply choosing a place on a map that shows nothing nearby and going for a walk to find it. I honestly love it and I am already planning my next wander.
What has this to do with candles? Not much, but I know that this connection to the land, really helps me get under the skin of a scent and create something special.