Monday, December 9, 2013

TWO OMANIS IN: Markree Castle Estate, Co. Sligo, Ireland

Before we lost the light and headed back to Temple House, taking a wrong turn we ended up at Markree Castle. It was closed for a wedding, but we snuck in through an open garden gate and took in the grounds, which were definately worth it on a fairer day than we'd happened upon.
Of course, during this time, somehow the rain which was a mist, became like cotton gauze, and in the garden woods, I lost my husband AND my shoe, and partially my sight. The whole while, he claimed he was looking for me, and was fine, and he wasn't very wet at all in comparison.

Surrounded by cold, and the place's intense beauty, I almost believed in the fairytales I was told as a child by adults willing to scare me. These were stories about faeries who aren't so friendly, who will make you dance until you die and will take you to their world and you will never be allowed to leave if you drink or eat anything they give you there.

As a Muslim, it was silly of me, childish, to wonder in those minutes alone without my husband, wandering barefoot in the marsh and woodland garden.

But then, maybe not afterall.

Muslims believe in Jinn, both good and bad, and the Jinn have their own world, so maybe these stories are older. The Gaelic race who conquered Ireland just before the bronze age are related to the jahiliyia/pre-Islamic Arabs so why not?

Whether you believe in Jinn or faeries, I know Arabs who carry amulets to ward off the evil eye, and read chants to barr jinn from entering their homes, and I know Irish who bury an iron blade under the doorframe when building their homes, and sprinkle salt in a certain direction, and leave milk and food out at night, all to please or to keep away the fair folk/Sidhe/faeries. It usually entertains me, pure silliness, but this day, I admit to being childishly worried.
Regardless, I was not taken off to the "Otherworld" and found my way to a footpath, which lead to a bridge outside the grounds, and there I waited, shivering, teeth chattering, until my Cinderella moment came and my husband found me, and came bearing my shoe, awith whom I was reunited in the car park.

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