Every year there is one sure thing, we will make a journey out to the west of Ireland where the Atlantic crashes against the shoreline of Europe, last stop before New York. There will be clouds, there will be mist and there will be a sense of leaping off the edge of the world and into the benign abyss.
Out past the road from Dungarvan to Youghal from Cork to Macroom, from Killarney to Dingle. Way out there is a spot where as the skies get bigger so do the questions. Back to the land, face towards the sea, how to go on, how to let go?
I swim with the hobbit footed woman, she is focussed on the cold. Still icy water creeps up our legs announcing the warmth of bits that have remained under exposed all winter. She dives in. She can’t dilly dally, her gift to the world is to keep moving. Her style is discipline and three swims a day. It doesn’t matter if it’s warm, cold, raining, windy, misty, grey, blue, golden. She is relentless. Some one true to her commitments, some one you could trust. Part seal, part salty siren.
Later in the pouring rain we four slip into the ancient walled settlement, stone upon stone. The rain has seeped into my coat and is dribbling down the back of my shirt. Out here on the edge we hold each other momentarily while time swirls around us thundering down from the mountain, gushing up through the earth beneath our feet.
Moods swing in the modulating skies, colours chase shadows over the landscape, rainbows appear and disappear like visions in the firmament. Time breathes hard onto my face, drying the raindrops. With the faintest scent of herbs wafting through the air, we turn for home, our feet more firmly rooted, each in our own way.
Dedicated to my precious family and friends who have shared special small moments with me all through this summer………
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