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Diarmuid and Gráinne

Travelling through Ireland, you will see beautiful stone shapes called dolmens. A Dolmen is two massive, long tables of limestone. Over them as a kind of shelter is placed another giant cap stone. In the Celtic tradition these were known as  ‘Leaba Dhiarmada agus Gráinne’, i.e. the bed of Diarmuid and Gráinne. The legend tell that Gráinne was to marry Fionn, chief of the Fianna, the old Celtic warriors. She fell in love with Diarmuid. The two of them eloped and the Fianna chased them all over Ireland. They were cared for by the animals and received advice from wise people. They were told, for instance, not to spend more than two nights in any one place. It was said that when they rested at night, Diarmuid put up the Dolmen as a shelter  for his lover. The actual archeological evidence shows that these were burial places. The legend is more interesting and resonant. It is a lovely image of the helplessness which sometimes accompanies love. When you fall in love, common sense, rationality and your normal serious, reserved and respectable persona dissolve.You become revitalized. Where there is no passion, your soul is either asleep or absent. When your passion awakens, your soul becomes young and free and dances again. In this old Celtic legend, we see the power of love and the energy of passion.

John O’Donohue  -  “Anam Cara”