Tom Cowan tells a story that echoes the old Irish tale of the voyage of King Bran. As the coracles of Bran and his men sail into the west they are met by a strange vision a chariot and driver are speeding west over the waves. The driver is Mannanan son of Lir one of the Irish gods of the sea. Where the sailors see ocean and dolphins Mannanan sees a field covered with grass and flowers.
Cowan’s tells the tale of two Irish hermits. The first leaves his hut by a lake to catch a fine, fat fish for his breakfast. As he casts his line he spots his neighbor hermit from across the lake. His neighbor is calmly walking across the water. Hailed by the curious boatman he tells him he is seeking flowers for his alter and what is his neighbor doing in a boat in the middle of a flower filled meadow. The confused fisherman tells him he’s looking for breakfast. “The fish are biting over by those foxgloves” says the second hermit and so they are. Each returns to his hut, one with breakfast, the other with his flowers.
Perhaps the difference between paradise and a desert depends on your point of view. And your ability to find a fine, fat fish swimming over by the foxgloves.