Tramore Beach is a place where young children have been introduced to the sea for many, many years now. I was once one of those kids and I always love to see the tradition being carried on, as it was by this man with his youngster at sunset last night.
While moments like this make me a little nostalgic, they also remind me that my memories are not necessarily rose-tinted. I remember the sea being golden and Dad bringing me right to the edge of the waves and then lifting me high into the air as the water came in. I saw the exact same thing happening before my very eyes last night and all the while the Metal Man was watching out in the distance, just as he was back when I was tiny.
Oddly enough, it was only while I was watching this pair playing with the waves that I realised that the memories were not just being created for the child but for the man as well. I wondered if he had once been the child that I was and was remembering his father as well as living in the moment with his own child.
All the while, lines of poetry kept wandering in and out of my head.
How can we know the dancer from the dance? (W.B. Yeats)
We are the music-makers,
And we are the dreamers of dreams,
Wandering by lone sea-breakers,
And sitting by desolate streams.
(Arthur William Edgar O’Shaughnessy)
Yes, memory is crucial to connectedness in the world and our sense of having a place within that:
Without memory, there is no culture. Without memory, there would be no civilisation, no society, no future. (Elie Wiesel)