March 01, 2018
Yes, the newspapers were right: snow was general all over Ireland. It was falling on every part of the dark central plain, on the treeless hills, falling softly upon the Bog of Allen and, farther westward, softly falling into the dark mutinous Shannon waves. It was falling, too, upon every part of the lonely churchyard on the hill where Michael Furey lay buried.
"It lay thickly drifted on the crooked crosses and headstones, on the spears of the little gate, on the barren thorns. His soul swooned slowly as he heard the snow falling faintly through the universe and faintly falling, like the descent of their last end, upon all the living and the dead.”
- James Joyce, The Dead
Sometimes, it's easy to forget just how much beauty there is in the familiar.
Our attention is so inclined towards the new and exciting things that cross our paths every hour of every day, that we very quickly lose sight of what's in front of our nose. But the smallest change in perspective can cause us to view our surroundings with fresh eyes – and when that happens, it's sometimes remarkable what we see.
One of the great things about working here at Luttrellstown Castle Resort is... well, the Castle and the Estate.
Ask any member of the team, and they'll recount in vivid detail the first time they crossed over this threshold, marvelled at the historic old building set amidst these gorgeous grounds, and slowly but surely came to the happy realisation: this is where I work now.
And while it's a feeling that never fully subsides, it's hard to maintain that sense of wonder indefinitely. As we go about our busy day-to-day, organising events, keeping our guests happy and delivering a top-class service to everyone who steps on to our grounds, we don't always get to take the time or the step back we need to realise how lucky we are to spend our days here.
This week, however, was different. As we arrived on site to see a thick blanket of snow sitting peacefully atop the Castle and its grounds, we saw the Estate in a way that we just hadn't seen it before.
And if you look at the photos on this page, you'll be left in no doubt as to why.
'The Beast From The East' may be making life difficult for lots of us across the country – but for many more, the snow days have offered a unique chance to spend time at home with family, with nothing to do, nowhere to be, and no pressing obligations to fulfil. It's a chance to get re-acquainted, and to remember why sometimes, the simple things in life can be the very best.
For us here at Luttrellstown Castle and Estate, it's been a chance to look at this remarkable location as if it were brand new – casting its natural beauty back into sharp focus, and remembering exactly what we felt when we drove through these gates for the very first time and said: wow.
Like Gabriel Conroy in James Joyce's The Dead – a short story from Dubliners that is inextricably linked with snowfall in Ireland – we're finally getting to see our world fresh eyes.
And our souls are indeed swooning.