Quick Link: Meet me at the Sea
We've made it a habit of settling in river valleys. It wasn't till I became an adult that I realized Kansas City nestled within the bluffs of the Missouri River. Not nearly as flat as you'd think, my childhood playgrounds were tree-filled and hilly, lush with life. Then in Meath we found ourselves living near the waters of the River Boyne. Cultural field trips took us through the Boyne Valley, picnicking along the banks and sourcing local honey for our never-ending allergies.
Now, we live nearly a stone's throw from the River Liffey. The motorway that brings us from airport to house lies high over a deep valley, and at this time of year -- if one isn't afraid of heights and doesn't mind looking out the window -- it's alive with a colourful haze. Trees line the way towards the city and the sea, their pollen leaving our noses twitchy all year long.
A few months ago (like, JULY..) I wrote for Velvet Ashes about the call of the water... not just that, but the longing to trace the tide, to sit, listen and wait for something greater and stronger than ourselves. And even then, how we can sometimes feel drained, parched, desperate for a taste of an elusive elixir.
Growing up in as-land-locked-as-it-gets Kansas, I didn’t know there was such a thing – the draw to open waters, the calling of the ocean. In the Midwest we made do with dug-out swimming pools, sprinklers watering our brittle grass. At 9am on sultry summer days, I’d ride my bike barefoot, making it to the community pool in time for the sweet shop to open.
Those days were fun, to be sure. The pools were exotic and fun and bursting with the tanned squeals of life and the possibility of first loves.
But today, from where I sit, under the eaves of a café a hundred yards or so from our island coast, it’s not fun I’m looking for; our sea is too cold for that. I’ve a thirst to be quenched, a spiritual longing only the tide can meet.
Last month I walked in the valley of my youth. Last week I plodded along the banks of the Boyne. And today I wrote overlooking the Irish Sea.
How lucky we are to always find our way home.