Sitting in Jack Monday’s coffee house at Thomond bridge in Limerick. After a great weekend in a building site in Limerick and in the Burren in Clare, it’s time for some paperwork – Bank holiday or not. The rest of the family is still asleep in the building site or walking the river so I left cornflakes and orange juice amongst the mattresses and left to be civilized on my own…..
Just to give you the running update, I “ran” the three bridges in Limerick yesterday and today and even though I still walked large parts, I ran more than half and when I ran I actually moved forward rather than backwards and am profoundly grateful to have done the miserable “first time running in two years” wobbles in the privacy of my own back roads rather than on the ever so sophisticated river walk in Limerick city.
Much as I love living in the countryside with the amazing fields of rapeseed all around us, I do love the city as well. The building site is right in the city centre, across from John’s castle and is suffering the first wave of gentrification which is lovely to see. After a long day in IKEA thinking kitchen worktops and presses, we arrived on Saturday evening with a trailer full of goodies, unloaded, spread the mattresses and admired the building works in progress. Unpacking the amazing Caesar salad from Glasrai and Goodies in Gowran ( the good traveler comes prepared!!), we sat down for dinner – the good traveler also brought some Costellos from home and planned the weekend. In the city, you don’t even have to figure out when mass is on Easter night, you just leave the house when the bells are ringing. So come quarter to nine, we were literally called out and joined St Munchins parish for Easter night and as luck would have it, joined one of the best Easter night ceremonies I have ever been at. A lovely choir, an honest and meaningful ceremony that adapted the old and infused with new. Admittingly I was probably not fully awake after the old testament readings in the dark but when the Gloria was sung, when the lights sprang on and the bells rang, I jumped to attention and did believe that he truly is risen and that we might still have a chance in this church, which I stubbornly refuse to give up on.
Easter Sunday saw us in the Burren, which was home for 5 wonderful years. Once a year at least I have to see Mullaghmore and walk the Cregg road at the foot of the mountain. Once a year we try and get everyone together in this place. It is a place where I come for the big decisions in my life or if I need peace I cannot find anywhere else. If landscape holds magic as the late John O Donohue so often said, it holds it there and seeing the children that used to play there when they were children, when I had to help them over the walls and butter their breads for the picnic – seeing them nearly 15 years later still falling into the water, still messing, still pushing each other, still not happy until everyone is wet has a certain bit of magic as well – especially when they turn around to me to say “careful Mama”, as time slowly turns the tables and I sincerely hope I have another 15 years until they actually have to help me over that wall.