Our house sits a few miles south-east of the mountain, Keshcorran. Viewed from this direction the mountain is a lopsided mass, like an over-ripe pear or a scoop of ice-cream melting in the sun. The famous caves of Keash run along the western face, and naturally when the local community erected a cross on top of the mountain they positioned it to look over the caves, its arms splayed out to catch the Atlantic winds. The mountain features in many Irish myths. Ceis Corran, “the harp of Corran”, where a she-wolf raised Cormac Mc Airt, who became the greatest High King of Ireland. The King’s mountain. Seen from the Ballymote-to-Boyle road, which runs under the row of caves, the mountain certainly has a regal sweep to it, stern-faced and broad-shouldered. But from our porch, where we sit on summer evenings, the mountain is a berry, a polyp, a mighty blister, and a reassuring presence, like the cratered moon hanging in the night sky, or the sound of winds blowing through the eaves of your home.
When I drive past the mountain I always steal a glance up at the caves. They are a remarkable sight, and after more than twenty years I still enjoy looking at them. But at home we have a different view of the mountain. It is just this permanent mass looming in the background. It's so familiar that I hardly notice it anymore, and it feels somehow seperate from the "real" mountain, as if we have our own, slightly smaller and less grand mountain.