There were 29 different sculptures on display on a sculpture walk within the woodland. Some very cool pieces and made by high school children. It was to commemorate the famine – 1845 to 1850 when the population of Ireland dropped by about 25%. About a million and a half starved to death and another million emigrated. Desperate times for many families. This was the sculpture I voted for. Hands made of copper to remind us of the famine.


The hands symbolised starvation, enslavement, separation, hunger, tragedy, confusion, reliance, prayer and rebirth.

Hands are so expressive in action but also can tell a story just by a look or a feel. Gilbert and I were in a restaurant where there were a large group of people at a conference.

“I wonder what these guys all do?” I mused aloud
Gilbert looked around and said “two different groups I think. See how these guys have rough and quite meaty hands. They work with their hands. See those guys with long slender fingers. They’ll be office workers or IT” I looked around and marvelled. I had noticed when I shook hands with people if they were rough or smooth. Some men’s hands are softer and smoother than my own gardening hands.

I remember looking at Nanas hands once and thinking about all the things they had been through…holding her newborn babies and later those of her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren, feeling the temperature of sick children, checking the time, Grandpa’s stroke and how tenderly she treated him after. No doubt there was frustration too. Knitting, crochet, and sewing. There’d be cows milked and gardening, collecting and selling of goods. Looking after boarders to make ends meet. Cooking of Xmas cakes and meals a plenty. Together in prayer and much more….

I also remember an art piece Tara did once where we all laid our hands down intertwined to make a circle. I always loved that piece as each pair had its own journey, told its own story and yet we were all linked so strongly.

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