Friday night: [breathings of a lost heart] What a simply spectacular day. We slept in late, had coffee and lovely showers, then went to an absolutely charming tea shop for breakfast. Lynnea, Josiah and I shared a table and consumed a delicious breakfast while talking about relationships. Very enlightening.
Then we squashed into the car again and drove for a while, stopping sporadically at a beautiful abbey and then a couple gift shops. I haven’t bought anything yet but I have lots of ideas.
Next we headed to the dock and met Patrick, the quintessential irishman; he is quite a delight all around. He showed us the ropes of the boat and took us to the island. Oh.my. bloomin.word the Island is amazing. The house is positively darling. Just the right size for us, with a fun and cheerfully stocked kitchen, a fireplace, lots of cozy beds, plenty of hot showers and fabulous views from every window. We quickly got our bearings inside, then clambered into our boots and coats and went exploring. We walked all over the island and collected mussels for supper and took loads of pictures, and Lydia and I had a long chance to talk just the two of us about the good, the bad and the ugly; relationships and stress and introvertedness versus extrovertedness and other such good nonsense.
The weather and scenery here is pure poetry. The wind blows and makes my eyes water and my nose run and tears my soul in the most excruciatingly painful and delightful of ways. I honestly don’t think I’ve experienced anywhere quite as deeply beautiful. Scratch that, I know I never have. It feels like home.
Supper was soo good. Mussels with butter and garlic, delicious bread, amazing cheese and nutella and apples. The food here is so fab.
It’s been so super fun to have Josiah here with us. He feels oh so absolutely the same and worlds different at the same time. It feels like no time has passed at all which is sad in a nostalgic way because so much has happened since he left, but it is happy too because there is very little pressure to catch up on everything.
Now I am snuggled under two warm comforters, the top of which is a lovely dark irish green, my head on top two giant fluffy pillows, in what Lynnea has dubbed the ‘ship cabin room’, consisting of two very lovely bunkbeds, a large window, and a nice sink. Lydia is showering and Lynnea is in the bed above me, journalling as well.
The way this feels like heaven sent incense and God breathed aroma takes my breath away. A thousand tinglings of light and love and laughter and it really feels like home. I’m shaking and afraid; that You would care this much about me to give me this?
You could call it the Spring I lost my heart in a very big way and we brought heaven to earth with five of my favourite friends. And this is only day two. *floored*
Saturday night: [for the hope beyond the blue] If you sit on the hills above the sea and watch the sun rise very quietly, you will hear the wind’s soft crying in a hurting hopefulness and you will hear the sea’s sad sighing whispering your heart’s desperate wish for all that might have been. It’s all so crazy beautiful.
We are all a bit tired tonight. We slept in again this morning, ate a nice breakfast, and then headed over to the mainland and walked and window shopped in town for a long time. We relaxed in a pub with fish and chips, and nachos, and we skyped with the fam to wish Matti a happy birthday.
We did some more grocery shopping, came back home, cleaned up, then made and ate a delicious supper. It is way fun to cook and clean together. Then we ran outside to go see the sunset.
Back at the house we played Rook and ate some chocolate. We were a wee bit out of sorts, mostly just tired, though.
*Sigh* It’s all so beautiful. Tangled hair from the fierce blowing wind. Sea sprayed clothes. Lots of poetry flowing through the wind tangled webs of my heart and mind and coming out my fingertips. It feels good.
Sunday afternoon: [the sea really does turn to silver glass]
Today has been very nice. We had a good breakfast (I just can’t get over how good the food is here!), I took a delicious shower, and we went to the mainland for church. We went to The Church of Ireland which is Anglican. I don’t know if they always do high church, but they did today, since it is Palm Sunday. I really liked it. It’s all from a liturgy, which is a bit different, but it was really beautiful, and even though there wasn’t exactly a sermon, there was a reflection on the Passion, which was insightful and beautiful. High church communion was also a very lovely experience. The church was so cold, though! We could see our breath.
Then we had tea and biscuits outside afterwards, and we met a few people from the church - such lovely irish people, and soo nice. One man we talked to for a long time was positively hilarious. He had us laughing our heads off.
We had brought a picnic lunch, so we ate at a playground and then sailed back to Island More (our island). Zach and Lynnea are out in the kayaks now, and Josiah, Lydia and UB are out hiking. I am tired and pensive, so I have the cottage to myself for now which is rather nice, I must say. I am curled up on the window seat with Michael Card’s ‘A Sacred Sorrow’, a soft blanket, my lovely journal, and a cup of coffee, feeling rather in the mood for poetry, but possibly more in the mood for a nap.
Do not forget how the wind loves to play with your hair. And I want to tell dear pops how the sea really does turn to silver glass, reflecting the imperial mountains, with never ending ripples of hope holding our dreams and visions to the edges of the world. Sharing echoes of eternity and whispers of a love worth waiting for. I am glad it is worth waiting for.
I think it strange and breathtaking how the deeply beautiful always make my heart ache so excruciatingly. How where the sky meets the sea it tugs at all inside me and my chest tightens and I clench my jaw to give pleasure a home. I don’t ever want to leave this place, to be quite perfectly honest. I feel I won’t know how to survive without the mountains and the sea. Especially the sea. My heart’s in a million pieces in that silver glass.
Sunday night: I didn’t do any writing but had a delicious nap, followed by a delicious supper, followed by some immature and some great conversation, then a fun game of Clue, and finally, a mad and immature game of Catch Phrase which was incredibly enjoyable.
Monday afternoon: [why do the white gulls cry?]
Observations of today:
-sea wind is my absolute fave skin care and hair stylist. Hands down.
-collecting shells is very addicting.
-we are a good group for the following: immature game times
intelligent deep conversations
heart to heart talks
silent soul walks
-the sea brings solace I think quite unmatched. God dwells there in a deeper way than I am certain I will ever comprehend.
What another lovely day. It is super nice to be so relaxed on this trip. Absolutely no pressure to do anything quickly. Today we’ve just been hanging out at Island More. Zach made eggs and oatmeal for breakfast. After breakfast, Josiah, UB and I had a long conversation about heaven and other fabulous subjects while we cleaned up the kitchen.
All of us except UB went out sheep seeking, and found a small herd of them, and petted some very adorable lambs. We got across to another part of the island using a small boat Zach and Lynnea found yesterday. I stepped in over my boots trying to get out onto land, so I spent the rest of the trek with a soppy sock inside a squishy boot. We walked for a long time and found some fascinating old ruins of houses. Unfortunately, I discovered yesterday that I didn’t pack my extra camera battery and charger, but UB said I can borrow his camera whenever I like, and I used Lydia’s quite a bit today.
When we got back to the house, we fixed lunch and read or wrote or just chilled. I napped a bit, unintentionally, and then we got up and went and explored an uninhabited neighbouring house. We sneaked up on it and found a skull and some bones hanging on the gate. It was eerily like a scene from a scary film. We approached the door quietly and knocked, just for fun, and then since it was locked and we weren’t going inside, we went around to the back side of the house, and all of a sudden, Josiah jumped out at us and nearly made us jump out of our trousers. He and Lydia then proceeded to explain that they had planned it all yesterday when they explored the house on their own, and we all agreed it was quite a fabulous joke. Good times.
I think it strange and beautiful how quickly and easily the sea seems to understand all my fears and hopes and sorrows and dreams. How does it know without my telling it? How is it that it speaks so sweetly and sadly back all I’ve ever wanted and all I’ve never had? I don’t know why, it makes me sad. But it is a very beautiful and breathtaking kind of sad.
Now we are back at the cottage, back at what feels so like home. UB and Zach are in the kitchen, working on supper’s stew, with some fab music on. Josiah, Lydia and I are chilling in the living room, and Lynnea’s doing something in the other room. Time is sweet, and I am savouring it all. God is so good.
Tuesday night: [words don’t work. at all]
Today we decided to head to the mainland. It was so incredibly cold waiting to go in the boat, and then the boat ride. I don’t think I’ve ever been that cold in all my life. We had to wait out at the dock for a long time because the boat’s battery was dead, and we had to wait on the tide. We huddled underneath the dock and talked about God and worship and other solid, great stuff.
Last night we ran out to see the sunset. We walked a long way, and saw it from down at the edge of the sea, and then climbed some cliffs and sat and watched it for a long time. It was at the very top of the most beautiful things I’ve ever experienced. Whispers of beauty that scream louder than my heart can even handle, where words truly fail. Fail utterly.
Then we came back and ate crackers and cheese while crammed on the couch (everyone but UB), watching Stone of Destiny. Such a fun film. Then the boys and UB went to bed and Lynnea, Lydia and I watched Bringing Up Baby and then Kronk’s New Groove, which was way weirder than I remembered, but we went to bed at 3am and agreed it was a super fun time.
We slept in this morning and then we went to the mainland. We spent the day driving, napping in the car, grocery shopping and sight seeing. We found a beautiful beach where the view was absolutely breathtaking. Lydia, Lynnea and I climbed rocks on the side and found a rock cleft which we named Rock of Ages. It was even more breathtaking than the sunset last night, which is saying a lot. We got a very nice irish man to take a picture of us, and then he and his family asked us to take a picture of them. They were so sweet and fun.
We got back late, got wet coming into the house, put groceries away, heated bread and leftover soup and had hot tea (which we have been drinking boatloads of) and hot supper. Now we are all comfortably placed in the living room, while the three of us girls journal and we talk about films and Josiah’s adventures.
Contemplating: just to be and to remember and hold inside our minds the beauty, how it changes us. I can’t stop thinking about how beautiful this adventure is and how I don’t deserve it and wondering why God likes me so much to give it all. Why me? And why now? Thankful.
Wednesday night: [throwing hearts out to the sea]
We stayed on the island today. Everyone else went exploring, but I stayed home and showered then went out and sat on a rock near the water and felt and wrote some poetry. My hands were half frozen, and it was hard to write but it feels good.
I came back inside, made some hot tea, listened to Sting while writing at the kitchen table. Then I felt like cleaning, so I swept the whole house and did dishes. The peeps came back and we had lunch and played Catch Phrase and watched Regarding Henry (excellent film--Harrison Ford is such a good actor) and talked a lot, all cosy in the living room.
Supper was good and then we headed back to the cliffs to see the sunset. It was cloudier this time, but beautiful all the same, and the sea and the sky ripped out a few more pieces of my heart.
When we came back we ate a super delish blueberry-rhubarb cobbler that Zach made. We played a fun game of Rook, which I won, surprisingly. Lydia and I are sleeping out in the living room just for fun, so I’m journalling out here with Zach while UB packs some things for lunch tomorrow. We’ll be leaving for the mainland bright and early tomorrow morning.
Thursday night: [reflections in the sea]
We left early this morning and headed to the mainland. We went shopping for a bit, got some delish scones, and UB found a shop that has camera battery chargers, so we’ll bring my battery tomorrow and find a charger. UB is so fab. I am thankful.
We drove a long way, through a lot of towns, including Donegal, which was cool. We stopped at a Woollen Mills factory in Foxford, went on an interesting tour there, and the boys and UB got some very nice jumpers and a hat.
Then we drove to the cliffs of Slieveleague which were absolutely stunning. I climbed down them barefoot which was a grand experience. Standing on the cliff’s edge and watching and hearing the water break against the rocks below and seized by a sudden desire just to throw myself into the sea. I don’t know why. I just want to lose myself in that immensity and power. It makes me feel so insignificant and small and wonder why I’m here and contemplating how life just isn’t worth it if we’re not giving ourselves away like the sea and thinking about how joy and sorrow come and go like the ebb and flow but they’re so dreadfully intertwined sometimes and they come so hand in hand sometimes. I am glad I have something as significant and immense as the sea to lose myself in. When I stand at the sea and watch its never ending waves and flow it makes me want to escape everything and just have Jesus. It is strange and hard how He requires so much more than that, but in the end it’s an all-encompassing losing ourselves in Him. I don’t know. I am probably confusing anybody reading this and I am definitely confusing myself. It’s easier to just feel it all while it’s happening and not try to explain it.
A dreadful headache came on while climbing down and got progressively worse. Climbing up was very hard but it was all glorious just the same. We stopped next at a little craft shop and I bought a few gifts. It is so fun to buy things for other people.
My head was still throbbing when we got back, even after some ibuprofen, but curling up on the couch with my pen and journal and lots of chatting with Lynnea made things better in spite of my headache. It’s been crazy fun to get to know Lynnea better. She is so beautiful inside and out and such a fab part of our adventure. The fire was warm and bright and Zach and UB cooked salmon and rice pilaf for supper and it was soo good. Probably the best meal we’ve had so far, which is saying a lot, because we’ve had lots of good food.
After supper my headache had disappeared almost entirely, so the three of us girls watched a fun Cary Grant film, The Bachelor and the Bobby Soxer, while the boys and UB went to bed. We finished the film late, and were pretty tired so we went straight to bed.