The Dell, Bodnant (story)

Bodnant Gardens, in North Wales, is one of my favourite places, the others being the Mucros House estate near Killarney and a nature reserve in Glengarrif, both in south west Ireland .

Walking through The Dell during one visit, I was overcome with emotion at the sheer beauty of my surroundings. In spite of many visits, I had never been able to put my feelings into words – my experience seemed beyond description. This poem is the closest I can come to what I felt.

The tall sequoias seemed like cathedral columns – this was the key – with blue sky above. A roofless cathedral. During one visit, wood smoke drifted upwards, caught in the shafts of light.

I have always been impressed by the fact that the men who first brought these lovely gardens into being would never live long enough to appreciate such a paradise – hence the final line of my poem, likening the minds of men to fireflies, a brief existence compared to those long-lived sequoias.