We all need to get away. Often we get lost in the ‘noise’ of life and never ‘hear’ ourselves. People regularly remark that they do not have time to think. Their heads are spinning. They find themselves rushing to the next thing that they are meant to do or trying to remember the last thing that they forgot to do! We spend so much of our energy trying to achieve goals and when we achieve them we set even more. We can become exhausted and stressed with this approach to life. We can become engulfed by all the tasks, objectives and goals. Life flies by. I have met many people who don’t know where the years have gone. But where is the space for yourself? Do we ever press the pause button?
This is my favourite time of year because I stop working for about eight weeks. During the year I work very hard and travel long journeys. These weeks are so different. My adrenaline levels have lowered. I find myself reading, listening to and playing music, walking and spending quality time with the people that I love. I am also working on my book towards the deadline of February of next year set by the publishers. It has helped me become more reflective and in tune with myself. Thankfully, the material is flowing. My thoughts run fluently because I am much freer. The busy work schedule has ceased. I have more time for myself. I can hear myself think! There is much more space in my life these days for me!
Sligo has a special place in my heart. I have had an affinity with it ever since working as a teacher here in the mid eighties. I am spending these weeks walking the beaches of Rosses Point and Strandhill. Somedays I rise at 6.30 a.m. type at the book for a few hours and head to the beach for a long walk. When we connect to the world around us we start connecting with ourselves. Often, we do not see or hear the music of the wonderful world that we inhabit. The seagulls squawk and glide through the gentle breeze, the waves plead for attention as they massage the golden sand and the rocks’ greenery turns amber with the heated rays of unprecedented sun.
If you keep walking on Strandhill beach you will eventually find yourself on your own. Sometimes I find a quiet corner and lie flat on my back and rest. I close my eyes and hear the world around me. The distant cars. The grasses swaying. The high-pitched cries of playful children. And I realise that I am here. Sometimes we are so busy we forgot that we are HERE!! There is more to life than just doing the things we feel we are meant to be doing. Catch up with yourself sometime! It’s a lovely feeling!
TWO POEMS WRITTEN IN SLIGO (due for inclusion in the forthcoming collection ‘Thin Lines’)
At the Edge
At the edge
Of the morning tide
Gulls piece the solemnity of the sundance
Sandhills whisk incense
Towards the hooded dancers
Luring lost children to unseen life.
At the edge
Of the dampened hard sands
The sea maiden flirts with the uncharmed mind.
Lying flat upon the soft cloak
Of Rosses Point shore
With the gape of Aphrodite,
Through the white veils of lipped water
I become the edge of all that matters.
At Rosses Point
There is a lantern hanging on the bay
As infant waters bathe pilgrim feet
The hard sand is altar carpet
Rolling under the charred mist.
I see skulls fused among sea-battered rocks
The breeze sketching marble dust lines
And pagans stare towards America;
It’s much closer than Calvary.