Hillary’s Hydrangeas

Croagh Patrick marks County Mayo as the storied Ben Bulben does County Sligo. Coming home from Louisburgh on the Coast Road the perspective on the holy mountain is entirely different than if you were returning from Leenaune and seeing the mountain’s southern exposure. I was once returning from a visit with some friends down in County Galway, but found myself anxious to get back to Mayo as we headed north on the N17. As if I was heard, suddenly that iconic cone appeared in the northwest as if she were a lighthouse guiding me home. But there is no view of Croagh Patrick lovelier than from my landlady’s garden on a clear summer morning. I rise early every morning in Mayo, going immediately to the curtained glass doors that overlook the mountain, pushing the curtains to the side. Some mornings I cannot even see the mountain for the fog and clouds that rolled in over the night, but I know she is there. This flawless summer morning, however, breakfast was delayed as I strolled among Hillary’s hydrangeas with Croagh Patrick my sole companion.

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