No Water at Saint Enda’s Holy Well

I stopped at St Enda’s Holy Well in Bearna, to find no water there. As I sat down beside it, I pondered and wondered is it because of the way Ireland (and the churches mismanagement of scandals) has drifted from the pure faith of the people?

St Enda's Holy Well: The well ran dry - in times of trial or desecration, it is said Holy Wells run dry
St Enda’s Holy Well: The well ran dry – in times of trial or desecration, it is said Holy Wells run dry

St Enda stopped here, the water rose
Flowed here since it was said,
But there is no water now today
Where St Enda once had prayed
While heading to the Aran Isles
I wondered then of the old tale (1)
That when evil rules the land
The waters to flow there fail
Or rise elsewhere if desecrated
I wonder is this is so
That the Ireland of vanities of today
Caused these holy waters to fail to flow?

I pondered such as there I sat
The wind blowing in the trees
I thought of Greece where once I sat
In such a hot summers breeze
This is a thin place, this Holy Well (2)
Since long before St Patricks word
Brought the faith to this western place
Without the need of blood and sword
I’m sure the water sometimes flows
Just a trickle there maybe
But it was dry as the summer sky
When visited there by me…

From such springs hope of a better time
When we find again the values lost (3)
From those earlier days when richer in spirit we were
When coins to these waters were tossed
By the faithful who by clergy were betrayed (4)
Guilty of greater sins that they condemned (5)
The planks in their eye were their blind spot (6)
Which of recent times came to an end (7)

Entrance to St Eannas Holy Well
Entrance to St Eannas Holy Well

It damaged their voice when it most was needed (8)
For that is how evil succeeds
Lying words like choice find in ears a voice
Among disdain gains ground and feeds (9)
On just anger against the few per cent
And the bishops who covered their sins for so long
Now good is bad, and bad is good
The times of darkness now are strong

I thought of similar back in Greece
Visiting Acropolis, and Cave of Pan
Little knowing then capitalism was unfurling
The greatest modern peacetime crash for man (10)
When all the spinning plates came down
As army and navy around Greece were deployed
Oblivious, thinking tensions with Turkey once again were afoot
I the train rise to Thessaloniki enjoyed.

I could not have imagined then
That Ireland so much had changed
The world too and all for the wrong
The orders of the lands rearranged.
The banks will rule, the people flee
As others flee to us from elsewhere
We welcome, for we once were them
Knowing conflict, famine, like their lands there
Where I visited the Serbian cemetery in Thessalonica
Where British too were buried before
I wondered then as I do now,
Could its likes happen again as it did before?

Id thought of same beneath Greek trees
Scorched beneath our common sun
In our common world where we find such difference
I to think of back then had begun
As I sat in Beara in that grove
At St Eannas Holy well…
Will waters flow strong when better turn
As a people, only time will tell…

Sure, some will blame it on global warming,
Low water table due to lack of rain,
The world is ending its mankinds fault
That Ireland roasts today like Spain,
Some of that may be true but that’s not the whole story
Here where the faithful prayed
Druids too possibly back in their time
Devotion to water spirits displayed…
I walked away hoping to return
To water trickle as a sign of hope
To a land lost in lies of euphemisms
Which uses yoga, not prayer as a way to cope.

A place of serenity, one of the worlds "Thin Spaces", Holy Wells are often a peaceful spot.
A place of serenity, one of the worlds “Thin Spaces”, Holy Wells are often a peaceful spot.

(1) There is a folk belief that water will not flow in a Holy Well that has been desecrated, or in a well where wrong has been done by local rulers. In the former, the well is said to spring anew elsewhere, in the latter it may return if good times return.

(2) A “thin place” is a location close to the otherworld, where peace emanates even in the midst of a busy environment. This was believed before Christianity in Ireland and continues to the present day.

(3) As Ireland follows the follys of abortion and probably soon, euthanasia, is the waters stopping to flow as we turn away from decency and what is right?

(4) Clerical scandals were beyond what the faithful expected of the clergy

(5) Child abuse scandals

(6) The wilful cover up of said scandals

(7) The historic crimes have ended. Only future times will tell are their current ones, and victims.

(8) To minimise compensation and to get state aid, while saying the right thing but in a quiet way they were hand in glove with the prochoice victory in Ireland, when they should have joined with other faiths and none in protest against the attacks on the right to life.

(9) Those seen as hypocrites, its hard for them to give needed guidance. Its in opposition such as that the clergy have to fight hardest, as they always had to in times of adversity. This time, its an adversity of their own creation.

(10) Financial crash of 2008

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