Tuesday, 29 December 2009

Where We Found Ourselves Today.

So yesterday, after three lovely days in my parents we made our way home to our cold house. It's still trying to warm up, as are we.  Old houses do not take kindly to being left unlived in for more than a few hours at a time in winter, especially if the frozen sea winds are blowing around it like demented Selkies!
Today, feeling the need for fresh air, we decided to make the half hour journey back up the coast again to our home town of Dun laoghaire instead of heading for the hills as we so often do.


We decided to take a stroll down the east pier, as so many others did, and it was a magical wonderland of another kind. Heavy swathes of sea mist crept silently around, making sound a strange muffled loudness.
And as we walked through the dense moisture the foghorn resounded forlornly in our ears, and I was instantly transported back to my childhood bed, burrowing under the blankets as I listened, waiting to hear it again. It's a sound that will forever be both haunting, and powerfully poignant for me.


And on we walked, people's footsteps echoing quietly-loud across the concrete, their voices murmuring in our ears. And then I heard, as though on some fairy wind, the lonesome sound of music, gradually growing louder until a tall, bearded man loomed out of the freezing haze, his fingers walking over the strings of his banjo, an accompaniment to our walk.


And although I have done this same walk so many times down the years, still I find my heart constrict at the sight of the old town, as seen from the sea side, as though I am on that boat, leaving the harbour yet again. So many times I have done so, and always come back, but for so many that is not possible. And I listen to the various accents that pass us as we walk, voices of people come home for the holiday, their 'foreign' families in tow.


And I marvel. Even though I am only half an hour away, I still get 'homesick' for Dun laoghaire, and driving down Glenageary Avenue never fails to give me a pang. And I feel so grateful I never had to leave.
Well, more than a few miles!


So I walk and savour, (there's that word again!), and I listen. And though the air is bitter and cold, there is a lovely sense of holiday, a certain bounce in people's step. And my thoughts meander on, becoming reminiscences of other times, memories stirred up by the route we walk. There is a strange comfort in it, and I love the fact that even though Jay and I didn't know each other as children, growing up in the same place means we have a lot of similar memories.


So, the everyday mundane walk we anticipated became a trip down memory lane, something the older children love. And following this, as we did, into the beautiful, magical world of 'Where The Wild Things Are',  I have arrived home immersed in nostalgia.

Something which always gets my creative juices flowing!

42 comments:

marie said...

Your posts make me want to visit Ireland so badly!

me said...

beautiful and refreshing photos!

Dreamfarm Girl said...

Lovely. And stirring. It speaks to me, longing for places of my own childhood.

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

It looks like a walk through heaven. Such mysterious beauty there in the fog. My husband and I grew up in the same place, too....even holidayed on the same shores when we were little. We love to think that perhaps we were on the same beach at the same time. There's a wonderful sense of belonging when one remains rooted in the place of one's childhood. Although, I must confess to never feeling more at home in a place as I do in Scotland. Something about cellular memory, I think.

In Real Life said...

Simply Beautiful! Your photos are so gorgeous, and paired with your wonderfully expressive writing, you bring us along on your magical walk with you. Thank you for the journey.

paintnpencil said...

How beautiful, I think In Real Life has described it perfectly.

kkrige said...

Your pictures and words give a beautiful and haunting image. It is alluring and I thank you. A different image of Christmas from a different side of the world. My world finally has some white in it. The sea holds magic that cannot be resisted though.

... daisy... said...

Beautiful like only Ireland can be!

the b in subtle said...

gorgeous Ciara. i absolutely love the fog. i got lost in it for hours on end on a trip alone to the dingle peninsula in 1991. i've been to dun laoghaire but i was very young. though your photos remind me a little of where i lived part of my childhood (on the southeast coast of england - in cliftonville, near margate, kent). also the sound of the banjo triggered a memory of the canoe/portage back home the monday i last left Algonquin Park. the sound of banjo carried over the water. at first we thought it might be a recording, but then the player faultered and we knew it was just someone playing at their campsite. beautiful. your photography, as always, is stunning and the mist and foghorn make me a bit melancholy. thanks for that...

Martin H. said...

Ciara

Your words breathe life into the images we see on the screen. It has been a pleasure walking with you.

Paddy said...

Great photos, as ever.

Deirdre said...

It's very strange to see Dun Laoghaire in a misty setting. I am only tempted to walk the pier when it is a sunny day. You make it look like a completely different place. Very atmospherical. I must go sometime when the weather is not so good.

Kato said...

Your photos are so beautiful, and even though I have not (yet!) been to Ireland, they make me feel a sense of being home.

Thank you!

*~tabby~* crooked heart art said...

wonderful post~
the pictures are hauntingly beautiful
what a place for you to of grown up in and lovely that you can always go back
many many thanks for sharing the beauty of your corner of the world
enjoy your day
tabby
www.crookedheartart.blogspot.com

endofera said...

A different angle, a whole new perspective, an inner view into another world, a gradual glimpse into greatness.....to be able to see and hear it through your eyes and words makes the experience all the more real. Wow....ahem...wow again...I must admit that I am quite envious of your talent. When I look back through my photos, I end up deleting half of them. You obviously do not come across such terrible dilemmas. And well done to you for braving the bloody cold!!!....

Safyah Zafar said...

I love the way you write. Your words carved a practical experience for me there..=)

affectioknit said...

How lovely - I love the fog...

Chris Judge said...

Wow ciara stunning images! So different to the sunny stephen's day day walk down the pier.

Stephanie V said...

Your photos are incredible! Nothing like the Ireland we experienced last summer. We had lovely sunshine and misty rain but never fog like that. Worth another trip, I think.

HKatz said...

Lovely photos - especially of the birds: they look like art, like something carefully drawn.

Ellen said...

No matter where you are during the holidays...memories are stirred up, relived, rejoiced, and shared. Yours in your spot in the world with your photos warmed my heart. I want to visit Ireland again.....thank your for today!

Cindee said...

What an enchanted stroll!
Cindee

Stephanie said...

Such beautiful photos - what an enchanting place.

Joana said...

hmmmm...normally water makes me feel gloomy but not with your photos :) Nice shots :)

Chris said...

Thank you for allowing us to walk along with you a little bit. Beautiful!

Annah said...

Hauntingly beautiful Ciara..

jaboopee said...

brillant photos and atmosphere ,
eerie, apocalyptic and very beautiful

Vanilla Press said...

What beautiful photos, really captures the atmosphere. I love the first one & the one with the birds.
Just gorgeous!
x

Networkchic said...

I've often found that you need to go back where you started to realize you never really left. Beautiful pictures.

Hannah Sadie said...

Wow, these are incredible! The fog is goregous. It creates such an eerie atmosphere.

Rebecca S. said...

I also grew up in an achingly beautiful place, and though I doubt I will live there again any time soon, I will always be a part of it, and it a part of me. When I visit it seems I have never really left.

Anonymous said...

Your descriptions are glorious and make me feel like I am there but long to be there at the same time.
At the risk of sounding crazy -- am I the only one who sees the image of the person in the last picture next to the stairs. It's really creepy but not in a scary way.

Laura Hegfield said...

Each photo is like a mysterious liquid inviting us into imagination!

Just gorgeous Ciara, thank you for sharing this photo journey with us.

Happy New Year to you and your beautiful family from far across that gray ocean in NH, USA

Maureen@IslandRoar said...

These shots are breathtaking. Haunting. Makes me want to be there now. Photographic poetry.
Okay, enough.
Happy New Year!

13GreenPixies said...

I just ran across your blog. My family moved from County Wicklow to America many moons ago. It's nice to see pictures from the area they came from. Thanks so much for sharing them! :)

2busy said...

These pictures are amazing. Thank you for sharing the beauty of your country.

neno said...

thats a lovely picture, how come you painted that?

salam

mimi charmante said...

What a poignantly written post Ciara! Your photos are stunning and make me wish we had anything at all that even slightly compares. You are blessed to have stayed so close to your childhood home so that you are able to share it with your children.
Happy New Year my friend ~ may it bring you much happiness, much laughter, and the occasional moment of peace and quiet! (to which I can laugh as I know how rarely that is for those of us with our wee broods...)
xx

Chris Tea said...

longing for this...a long time ago I lived in a foggy beautiful place by the sea. I was so tiny, only 8, when we moved. I still remember......and long for the texture and the imagery. I've never been back. It was a whole other country, literally. Maybe someday... Thank-you. So beautiful.

Andrew said...

Never thought I'd say this, but your post makes me a little homesick for Dun Laoghaire.

allthingsrosie said...

stunning photos

Irmhild said...

your photographs are amazing! I take it you use an SLR?