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!