Templebreedy: A respite for souls and sisters

We woke in the late morning with “thick heads” and drank our tea. The clouds on the horizon hung over the upper fields behind the housing estate in buoyant, dust-colored puffs. It was Monday in Crosshaven. In the days before, sounds of merrymaking had mixed with sea breezes as out-of-town guests and other members of the wedding we’d just attended took over the village. But now Brightwater, a tidy little enclave of houses nestled in the hillside, was quiet and still. In the marina, tiny waves slapped against boat hulls, and the only commotion was from the sky, where seagulls swooped in circular patterns as they called for their breakfast from above.

Less than 45 minutes from Crosshaven by foot, Templebreedy (or Brigid’s Temple, as the true translation from Irish would read), has long-beckoned to locals, who ascend through the Cruachan woods and past the Holy Wells of St. Mary and St. Brigid on weekends, lured by fresh air and unparalleled views of Church and Fennels Bay. From a distance, Templebreedy is unassuming—the crumbling ruins of a church built in 1779. Once inside the graveyard gate, however, it is clear we have entered a sanctuary of the spirit, a place of contemplation and communion.

With the roof of the church long gone, the interior of the sanctuary is, fittingly, open to the heavens…

A Celtic cross stands framed in a windowless archway.

As my husband and I stand together with my brother- and sister-in-law, our walking guides for the day, a butterfly flutters into one of the doorways. Haltingly, it lights on several daisies that have sought shelter against the high winds, before coming to rest reassuringly on my palm.

Irish folklore says that butterflies are the souls of the dead waiting to cross over. I smile, because I sense this is true, for it happens to be the second anniversary of my sister’s passing, and, whether we knew it this morning or not, we’d come to Templebreedy for this very reason…

About Smallpeace

Michele Karas is a poet, essayist, and longstanding professional copywriter, who currently works for a top-five US book publisher. Her poems and prose have appeared in literary journals, including Tinderbox, THRUSH, Alaska Quarterly Review, and Narrative magazine, among others. Michele holds a BA in Journalism from San Diego State University and an MFA in Creative Writing from CUNY, The City College of New York. Find her on Twitter @small_peace.
This entry was posted in Beyond Smallpeace and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Templebreedy: A respite for souls and sisters

  1. Maria Hart says:

    What a beautiful piece with amazing photos. As I read it my heart swelled with emotion and pride to see such beautiful pictures of my hometown. It was an honor to feel a part of your heartwarming experience. Thanks Michele …. Bring on the butterflies x Maria

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s