I just got back from two weeks in Ireland a couple of days ago so the next few blogs will be using images from that trip. Forgive me!
The first set were taken on our trip to two of my favorite childhood spots in Kilkee; The Pollock Holes and George’s Head.
These areas lie to the west and to the east of the beach area and little village of Kilkee itself, the main summer destination for Limerick people.
I remember as a child visiting Kilkee yearly and suffering through miserable cold and rain along with the freezing North Atlantic to swim in, on an annual basis.
We would be sent down to the water and told to be sure to come out when your fingers turned blue. I have memories similar to the movies that you see of Vietnam where the new recruits arrive on helicopters or planes and walk past the injured and maimed coming in the opposite direction. Kilkee was our Vietnam. Lots of happy little children would run gleefully down to the water, passing untold numbers of blue children running in the opposite direction cutting through the wind and rain hoping for some respite in a dry towel back at their parents.
Well, every cloud has a silver lining and the lining to the global warming disaster is that places like Kilkee suddenly have warm water and sunshine.
Ireland was in the middle of a heatwave when I got there and temperature in the nineties sounds fine until you realize that almost none of the country has air conditioning. So, heading to the coast was a wonderful way to catch a breeze that seemed to escape cities and towns further inland.
With Kilkee our first port of call, I was determined to start at the Pollock Holes, which are a series of pools and rocks exposed when the tide has gone out.
The trick is to get all your swimming and exploring done before the tide comes back in. If not, then calmly drop to a knee, say two Our Fathers, and seek forgiveness for your sins because you are about to meet your maker. Or the bottom of the Atlantic, whichever you believe in.
By the time we made it off the rocks, the tide was returning with a vengeance and we had to climb to safety as our return path was already under water.
Inna was worried for those still on some of the rocks that appeared to be getting cut off but I told her not to worry. This is why Irish people have such large families; if you lose a few to the Atlantic, sure you always have someone else at home to pick on.
After that, we went to the other side of the bay and took the wonderful walk along the cliff edge that is George’s Head and watched the waves pound the base of the cliffs with such base that you could feel it in the pit of your stomach.
I have included a set of pics from both locations at the end of the blog and I hope you enjoy them.
I also have two pics here of Inna discovering a bunch of sea urchins in one of the pools at the Pollock Holes. Fabulous little guys, as long as you don’t step on them.
Anyway, the trip to Kilkee left me with many thoughts and the one that began to form this blog was really related to the awesomeness of the experience in coming face to face with such a power as the ocean.
When you stand there with the wind in your face and feel the pounding of the waves on the rocks beneath you, when you hear the endless rhythm of wave after wave, when you see the swells break all around you … these are the moments when you realize you are truly in the presence of a Greater Power.
Oh wait … you didn’t think I was suddenly getting religious, did you?
True religion is the realization that as a human, you are merely a part of the story of this planet that we all live on. This planet, that some happily destroy in order to swell their bank accounts, deals with all the crap we have to give it and still sits there bigger than life itself.
When we talk about destroying the planet, we are really talking about its destruction as a place for life. Or at least, life as we know it.
When all of us are longs since gone, the planet itself will continue. It may evolve into some else and possibly even something that can only support life forms different to us animals. But until the day when it finally loses its orbit and falls into the sun, it will still be here.
The planet has seen several extinctions already in its history. We all know of the dinosaur one, but it would be stupid to think that there weren’t others.
Our own extinction will happen. Of that I am certain. Mankind is too greedy and destructive a parasite to change our trajectory from the end of days we happily are accelerating towards.
How many other living creatures we take with us, is anybody’s guess. It is quite possible we will take all but the cockroaches. But who know … maybe we will find a way to take them with us too.
How long it takes for this extinction to happen is something that we can affect. We can each do the things we already know are good for the environment. These are little things like reducing our carbon footprint.
But there are things that can have a much greater impact, if only we will commit ourselves to them. We need to vote in governments and leaders that put the planet ahead of wealth and industry. When we allow lesser issues to affect who we vote for, we are not just a fool unto ourselves, but we are giving a death sentence to our children and our children’s children.
We are taking away their right to live on a planet where they too can one day find their own cliff to watch the majestic ocean as it lives and breathes around them.
Of all the gifts a parent can give a child, the most important gift is a future. When we do things that take that away from them, then shame on us.
Whatever rights we think our god gave us, or the constitution gives us, the most important right of all is the right to live in an undamaged world and to live our potential unhindered by a fucked up environment.
This is the right to life we should all be concerned about.
I stood there in Kilkee and felt the greater power around me. I lost myself in the almost infinite view of natural beauty and with each wave, I breathed in a little part of it.
I felt humbled.
The biggest stories in life begin with humility. The humility that reminds each of us that this world is not here for us. This life is not about us.
Our life is only as important as the love we leave behind us when we are gone.
Love each other. Love your children. And love the planet.
… just a thought.