Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Happy Saint Patrick's Day!

Magical Strings

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day!

I would like to take this opportunity to introduce to you a couple who are not only my dearest friends, but the world’s premiere Celtic musicians. Pam and Philip Boulding live across the Puget Sound from Seattle on a beautiful farm called “Magic Hill”. The place is truly magical and so are they!

I had the great blessing to meet them around 1980 – 81 when I visited Gig Harbor’s Morning Star, a Waldorf initiative. The school group held a Michaelmas Festival and I helped to organize it. Pam and Phil were in the audience and played divine music for us all at the end of the program.

For the next few years, I lived with the Bouldings on and off and helped with their four boys, Geoffrey, Brenin, Morgan and Marshall (twins) and soon, their new little baby, Brittany.

Now, all of their children are grown and most have children of their own. I have not been back to the Seattle area since I left in 1988, but I left a large part of my heart on Magic Hill.

Here are links to their website and some samples of their music. I guarantee you will feel an instant connection to Ireland, Magic Hill and all of the magic places in your own life!

Here is a picture of that Michaelmas Festival long ago. Pam and Phil are the ones cuddling in the forefront. I am in the middle, behind the two red-headed “leprechaun” twins.

More recent pictures of the Boulding Family. Please visit their website for updated information on their concerts and recordings!

And some pictures of the Gig Harbor/ Seattle area just like my first glimpse of "my mountain" - Mount Rainier.

And a poem I wrote for Philip:

Die Meistersinger

Just the few on the very edge of the village
Sensed the approach and began the relay -
A warning, a preparation,
A river of fire in the light of day.
With a wooden staff and woolen hood
Tall, proud and silent he made his way;
And even the animals and sleepy birds
Made haste - yet with an air of wonder -
To clear the dusty road along the way.

And when he entered the iron gates,
The children, first to know and last to dismay
Began to gather in ragged clumps
No longer caring for ordinary play.
His gaze fell upon them there;
He seemed to see them years away
Down future road where they must go
He saw them, old and bent and gray.

Then all the village left its work
And in solemn groups of two and three
Approached the dusty market square.
Mothers carried babes in arms to see.
The old and sick and lame were carried in
With great gentleness and care set down
Until the modest market square
Held all the folk of field and town.

He moved like a fish through a rocky stream
And mounted on an old stone stand
Turning a cool yet vibrant eye upon them all,
He gave his staff and cloak to loving hands.
He saw the old made young again
And noted every high or lowly soul.
He found the dream buried deep in every heart
And watched the crippled bodies turning whole.

When all was still and open and in tune
He unwrapped the tender bundle on his knee,
The morning sunlight glinted on the harp -
He held it higher for them all to see.
They waited, breathing all as if one soul
As he found the perfect tightness of each string
Then lifted high his head and with a smile,
Tuned his heart, with keys of love, to sing.

The words came clear upon the morning breeze
Summer’s joy and winter’s pain entwined;
The mountains called, the sea roared in reply -
Day and night became entangled in their minds.
He sang each heart and placed it on a star.
He freed each dream enchanted in the stone.
He showed them how the future would unfold
For the human tide and each of them alone.

It seemed a moment, no more than the kiss of the wind;
The golden harp glowed reddish from the setting sun
And something in his voice bid them awake
To find their day of dreaming almost done.
With sweet and final haunting harmonies,
He bid adieu to the magic of the day
And, leaving them in sorrow and in love,
He wrapped his harp and stole their dreams away.

Christine Natale
1986 All Rights Reserved


  1. My daughter is just learning the celtic harp!
    What a lovely poem :)
    Thanks for sharing.
    suzy (by way of ancient hearth)

  2. Thank you SuzyQ!

    I hope that you connect with Magical Strings and get their CDs. : )

    Someday, I hope your daughter will be making her own CDs (or whatever technology is coming!)

    Best wishes,