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The Bonnie Rowan Tree: Pause and Ponder Reflection

Fr La’s weekly ‘Pause and Ponder’ from along the Pilgrim Path at Lough Derg. This week’s reflection – ‘The Bonnie Rowan Tree’.

The Bonnie Rowan Tree


The bright red berries catch my eye

and a Scottish folksong sings in my ear:

“There wasnae such a bonnie tree in a’ the countryside.”


In Ireland, as among our Celtic cousins,

the rowan was revered, its red or orange berries

used in remedies.  Linked with life and healing,

they planted it near their gates to ward off evil.

Happily, this one has made its home

here near the start of the Pilgrim Path.


In Irish we call it caorthann. The name Macartan,

St Patrick’s strong companion, means ‘Son of the Rowan.’


I rejoice in the abundant autumn food

it will offer to the birds for weeks to come.


Fr La Flynn

23 August 2021


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