I just got back from Ireland again the night before last. And just as before, we spent much of the time traveling around different places that extended beyond the normal path of such visits.
This time, we headed north and west from our Limerick base and reached into the furthermost corners of Co Mayo. We had two destinations in mind and this one, Achill Island, was the first. That being said, our destinations completely played second fiddle to the journeys themselves as our eyes feasted on the ever changing surrounds and our hearts feasted on time with each other.
The drive to Achill was spectacular and after passing by mountains and lakes, we emerged onto a coastline and then hugged it all the way to Achill.
The skies obliged once again and it is truly difficult to imagine a more beautiful coastline. The amount of time I had spent in Mayo was while I was a child and could be measured in a thimble. And as I had written about Achill in the third part of my Fianna trilogy, I wanted to make sure that some of my memories were factual.
Towards the end of the drive as we made the final leg along the edge of a steep mountain, we marveled at the beauty but were conscious of the danger of veering slightly to the left and landing in the ocean below.
I doubt if I will ever forget this drive as every second already seems etched into my bank of favorite memories.
I have attached a number of images at the end of this blog. I hope you enjoy!
There will be other posts this week from this Irish trip along with photos from a trip to the end of the road in Blacksod and a wonderful spot in Co. Laoise called the Rock of Dunamase. So, do check back!
In the meantime, the thought that I had from this particular journey was how easily memories can get created when you are with someone special.
I have visited many amazing spots and witnessed some stunning moments in Florida but have done so, mostly on my own.
As such, with few exceptions, most of these memories rely on pictures that I have taken as some kind of a capturing of what I have seen and felt. There has often been the hollow feeling associated with not having a fellow witness to share the moment with.
For example, I had the most amazing alligator experience of standing just a few feet from a monster alligator while he crunched his way through a seriously large catfish. With no one there with me, I have struggled to relay the feeling of awesomeness and power of what I witnessed to those in my circle.
But in this instance, I had Inna with me and being able to point as something and express a wonder, to be immediately greeted by a similar response, made each moment more vibrant and meaningful.
We are social creatures, us humans, and try as we might otherwise, it is important to share at least part of our journey through life with someone special.
It is one of those most unusual conundrums that you share something with someone only to get more, not less, of what you are sharing!
Try to think of another situation where that happens.
And so the memories created when you have someone with you on such experiences are more than you could create on your own.
When they talk about getting to the end of our own road and looking back at the journey we took, the rich life lived is one that recalls a genuine string of meaningful memories that made life worth having lived through.
Each of us has the chance to live such a life and we don’t all need to be on the Mayo coastline to achieve it. We only need to have someone that shares our journey. It doesn’t have to be a spouse, or lover … friends work together in creating such memories each day.
And the memories don’t have to have spectacular scenery in order to be special; smiles shared over coffee mornings and funny stories can also form the basis of such memories.
We have all heard statements about the tapestry of life and the threads we use to create ours can come from a broad base of memories. We just have to spin them.
Each day in our lives gives us the opportunity to do something with it. We can choose to let it pass by or get caught up in the stresses of work and monies and such. No one will force us to have fun, or to get off that sofa. No one will beat us at the end of our day for lying down and closing our eyes on a day we did nothing with.
But we should. The “one life” concept is very simple and in recognition of it, we need to embrace every breath and every experience and treat it as if it is our last.
Because one day, it probably will.
… just a thought!