St. Kevin, who lived as a hermit for seven years in the mountains, founded the site. Living as a hermit, he developed a great love for nature and animals. He served as a teacher and healer in the area. As legend tells it, King O’Toole of Glendalough had a pet goose. As the goose aged it was no longer able to fly. The King summoned St. Kevin and asked him to make the goose young again. As payment for his services, St. Kevin asked to be granted all the land the goose flew over. The King agreed, since the goose could no longer fly. St. Kevin laid his hands upon the bird and it grew young once again and flew over the valley of Glendalough, and that became the site of the monastic city.
I admire that the Irish people have such reverence for these sites that they have allowed them to remain. Such a rich history and tradition is preserved for all to visit and appreciate. As I walk through the valley among the ruins I try to imagine what it was like in the 12th century. If I was living in this time, what might I have been doing; I somehow picture myself being a weaver. A lone goose flew overhead as I was looking out at the site known as St. Kevin’s Bed and I couldn’t help but laugh.