Lough na Suil is beautiful this time of year. It’s cold, but not cold enough to freeze. Every few decades the lake drains into the channels and caverns in the limestone beneath it, but right now it’s full, a still pool reflecting the winter sun. Sheep graze on the fields around it, a long copse of trees stands not far from one of the long edges, and my cabin sits perched on the bank of the lake itself.
From the window facing directly west down onto it, I can gaze out over the waters and imagine how thousands of years ago, the brave Tuatha De Danann, the Tribe of the goddess Danu, fought to regain control of their lands and break out of the oppressive slavery of the raider Fomorian tribe. Young Lugh tore his evil grandfather Balor’s eye from its socket, and its terrible power burned a hole in the ground where it fell. When the battle was won, the crater filled with water and the Lake of the Eye, Lough na Suil, was formed. These dreams of ancient myth are why I am here, in County Sligo five hundred miles from my home. Even the best writer has their well of inspiration run dry in time, and I don’t attempt to claim that label.
I am to come here both to recover from my day-to-day life and to gain new ideas for my writing. Mythology has fascinated me for the longest time, and Ireland is the place I have set my sights on. I have camped in the Grampian Mountains in the Scottish Highlands, I have slept beneath the stars at Glastonbury Tor, but this myth is the one which has enraptured me for so long. Ancient battles between old god-kings and the hideous slavers they’d allowed to infiltrate their people? They say folklore came from myths, myths came from religion, and religion came from the truth. I enjoy writing it, which means people will enjoy reading it.
I said I am to go there, for I have not yet left London. My flight leaves in six hours. I will arrive at midnight.