Author Alice Taylor to launch new spiritual book.
Learning to appreciate the golden moments gifted to each of us by life, nature — or each other — is the topic of bestselling author Alice Taylor’s new book, to be launched in Innishannon on Friday.
In a move away from her traditional style, which is deeply rooted in the physical landscape, community and West Cork traditions which surround her, And Life Lights
Up, the latest offering and her 25th book, takes a more spiritual tone and is a mixture of poetry and prose.
The beautifully presented hardback volume, whose jacket features a blazing sunflower which grew from a seed planted by her grand-daughter Ellie Angland, will be officially launched by singer Linda Kenny at the local Parish Hall on Friday, October 12 next, at 7.30pm.
“This book is about appreciating the now, and living in the now,” explained Ms Taylor, who added that the book is divided into several sections - Awareness, Roots, Special Memories in the Garden, Small Kindnesses and Then and Now.
“It’s about the blessings that are bestowed on us along the way,” she said, observing that the book’s roots stretched back to a very special golden moment during her childhood:
“When I was about eight, I was up minding the bonabhs (piglets).
“I wanted to see what night was like. Our house was full of people and activity and animals and I wanted to see what it would be like in quietness when nothing was happening.” She was determined to stay up, she recalls, but fell asleep and woke in the very early morning.
“I went out and opened the door as the sun was rising, and the dawn chorus was starting. I thought it was so beautiful.
“Looking back there are special moments gifted to us and it is so important to be there for them,” she says, adding that another of those moments happened a year or two later.
On holiday in Ballybunion, she was sitting on a church wall waiting for her mother, who was at a recitation of the rosary inside.
“I was looking at the field and suddenly I saw this beautiful red poppy! I never forgot that poppy and many years later I wrote a poem about it.
“The book is essentially about our golden moments that are ‘gifted’ to us,” she explains, adding that it is a loss to us if we fail to be ‘present’ at the moment the ‘gift’ arrives.
“Deep within each one of us is a vein of sacred stillness holding the seeds of our awareness.
“On special occasions, a ray of light beams into this vein and these seeds spring to life igniting dormant threads of our being.
“Our inner world lights up and dances in tune with all that surrounds us. We glory in the wonder of being alive. Such moments are golden. Rare orchids scattered along the woodland of our lives.
It is for these moments that we scale mountain tops, penetrate the depths, pit ourselves against the might of man and nature!
“Sometimes nature can lay golden moments out in front of us on a palette of breath-taking beauty,” she observes.
“On a remote mountainy road, you may drive slowly around a curving bend. And there it is an unbelievably beautiful hidden valley. Nature holds the key to open our windows into wonder.
“Amazing moments can also be gifted to us by our fellow humans. We see it in a beautiful ballet when the ballerina becomes a bird in flight. We read it in a soul-stirring poem. Words written long ago allow us to see the world through the eyes of the poet. We see it in an exquisite painting. On the canvas, you and the artist are one. “When we are gifted with these rare moments a ray of radiance encompasses us. It lifts us up and we experience an interlude that infuses us with delight and a positive belief in the greatness of our fellow human beings.” While we wish that these moments could last forever, she said, if we mindfully absorb them as they happen, we can encapsulate them into the depths of our subconscious, where they “mould” themselves into the fabric of our being and carry us over the stumbling blocks that may be up ahead.
“These moments enrich our lives but can so easily be lost if we are too busy looking in another direction. They can then drift by unappreciated and unnoticed.
“And afterwards we can never again recapture them. So it is good to be mindful of our golden moments. To be aware, to observe, and savour them. And absorb the joy of now.
And Life Lights Up by Alice ■ Taylor is published by the O’Brien Press. €20 -
Author Alice Taylor whose new book is being launched in Innishannon on Friday.