Our second journey last week took us to a place where I had last been as a young boy with my Dad, what feels like a million years ago.
The Bridges of Ross was a configuration of three land arches over an unforgiving Atlantic Ocean, but with two of them having fallen into the waters in the 19th century, the one that is left somewhat overstates the name.
That it is still there is a rather astounding testament to the level of rocky cliffs that brace Ireland against the wild North Atlantic. We witnessed repeated pounding from giant waves that were relentless in their testing of the land structure.
With nearby rock edges showing cracks that are now being invaded by the ocean, I suspect it is only a matter of time before this place become simply Ross and the existence of bridges merely a memory.
My camera was having a field day with the crashing waves and it was so difficult to select just a few for today’s blog.
The tumultuous waters showed currents that made it clear that one misstep that puts you in the ocean, would be your last. Inna screamed at me a few times for getting too close to the cliff edge but the waters drew me like a magnet and getting the right picture repeatedly overruled any common sense that remains in me.
Anyway, I hope you enjoy the selection at the end of this blog, even half as much as I enjoyed taking them.
The enduring thought that led from the shoot to this blog is the unforgiving passage of time and its effects on things we view as a constant.
For example, I never imagined as a young boy standing at the cliff edge with my Dad, that he would one day be gone and yet in five days he will have died eight years ago. And those who named this place Bridges of Ross likely believed that the three land arches would stand the test of time and somehow also still be here. But they aren’t.
The world itself is changing and our world within it also changes. We can talk about erosion and climate change, of course. But the true enemy in all of this is time.
As young people we treat time as if it were an infinite commodity and pay little attention as each day passes. I guess it allows us to live a carefree youth and experience things without the responsibility of watching the clock.
But as we age and we become aware of the very finite quality that time gives us, we look at the world in a different way. The relevance and importance of certain things, shifts and we tend to appreciate the important stuff more.
Things like love, friendship, and health, suddenly outweigh material things and our chosen experiences are more about the people we share them with, than the actual experience itself.
With the ocean, we can physically see its relentless progression against rock and such that we once imagined constant. It doesn’t take a science degree to understand that eventually the relentless pounding of salt water will reshape our world.
But with time, we face an invisible foe and it beats against us every bit as relentless as any ocean. Fight it all you want but time eventually wins. Rich and famous, poor and meek … they all eventually get washed away in the current of time and soon even disappear from memory.
Standing at the cliff edge and staring at the powerful waters brought things very much into focus that at my old age, I an not far from the cliff at the edge of time.
But truth is, none of us ever really are. We can point the finger at an oldie like Neville and say “yeah, but he is old and therefore near the end of his life.” Yet, anyone can die of a sudden illness or an accident, hours after pointing that same finger.
We have no given time in life. Each minute is precious whether we know it or not.
Knowing that allows us to refocus on the love and friendship in our lives and those around us that give our life a purpose. This is where we should spend our time.
Before we have no time left to spend.
… just a thought!