Expect the Unexpected
I was driving the rural roads near Cork, between Ballymaloe Cookery School and Cobh, admiring the pure Irishness of it all, when I came across a carved tree. At first it looked as though someone had put a dying tree to use as art. I passed it, stopped and looked at it from afar, turned around and went back and parked in the driveway to get a closer look. And it was like a Celtic take on a Native American totem pole.
The tree was the center, still there and celebrated. but each branch had been used to represent something new. A cottage and an ornate chimney were prominent. But so were an eagle, Native American Indian symbolism and a wolf.
When I lived in Washington State native Indians once carved a totem pole for my father that told the story of his leadership with negotiations and as a respected leader. It involved a bear and and an eagle and other symbols of strength and leadership.
This was like a new take on a totem pole…like a totem tree. It celebrated the tree itself, yet as a new form of art that intertwined Irish culture with Native American culture through carving. Now, if I haven’t mentioned it yet, signs, say for streets etc are rare in Ireland, so I can’t tell you exactly where it is. And while I actually did go to the door and knock, no one was home to tell me what it all really means.
But I can’t say this too many times. Keep your eyes open! Many amazing things you’ll find traveling, you’ll never see in a tourism pamphlet.