I posted the above photo on Twitter earlier and asked people would they walk down this road. The response was mixed. Some thrill seekers didn’t have the slightest problem while others were less brave, saying they would only chance it during daylight hours. Some said they would run a million miles in the opposite direction. Some recognised the location, others didn’t. It’s actually the Dark Hedges near Stranocum in Northern Ireland.
The Dark Hedges is, or rather was pre-Covid, a big tourist attraction as it featured in the first series of Game of Thrones as the Kings Road which runs the length of Westeros. Such was the interest in it, the authorities had to close the road in recent years as the huge numbers of coaches and tourists were causing damage to the trees and preventing residents from going about their daily business. They now have to park round the corner and then walk the final yards to it.
It’s amazing how the absence of light can change one of the most popular roads in the country into a no-go zone. The profile picture of Fionnuala and I was taken at the Dark Hedges, our Rebecca has hidden in the trunk of one of its sentinel guards and I’ve even had my photo taken running down it as part of the Dark Hedges Half Marathon route. Yet, dim the lights and throw up a spooky moon and it resembles a scene from your worst nightmare. All we are missing is a zombie or two.
You cannot have enough life-affirming light in your life. It illuminates our journey and affords purpose and confidence. It provides comfort, heat and reassurance. Your light can be your faith, family or friends. It can be a pastime or project, it’s what burns deep within, fuelling us to keep pressing forward when all around everything seems to be falling apart. It alerts us to perils on the path and acts as a guide and counsellor. Don’t let your light ever burn out.