Stormy Seas

It has been one of the stormiest days for a long time and the sea took on a whole new look in Co. Waterford today.

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Rolling Waves at Kilfarrasy Beach

 

Stormy seas have a wild beauty about them,  but they are also reminders to never, ever take the ocean for granted as it has its moodiness and turbulent times, just like the rest of us.

Here’s a few quotes about storms that I especially like:

The heart of a man is very much like the sea, it has its storms, it has its tides and in its depths it has its pearls too. ( Vincent van Gogh)

 

You don’t have to love the storm but you have to know its language in case you meet it. (Mehmet Murat ildan)

 

There is a great deal of unmapped country within us which would have to be taken into account in an explanation of our gusts and storms. (George Eliot)

 

America needs to get over it. We can’t control everything. We can’t control the storms. (Russel Honore)

 

Nothing is more beautiful than love that has weathered the storms of life. The love of the young for the young, that is the beginning of life. But the love of the old for the old, that is the beginning of things longer. (Jerome K. Jerome)

 

Be thou the rainbow in the storms of life. The evening beam that smiles the clouds away, and tints tomorrow with prophetic ray. (Lord Byron)

 

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Sea Spray at Newtown Cove, Tramore

Simplicity in a Complex World

The world is full of highly complex and challenging issues ~ wars, starvation, greed, absolute poverty, inequality, quiet desperation, physical agony, homelessness, hopelessness …..

I often think that there is far too much of an ‘I’m alright, Jack,’ attitude out there and that there is a ridiculous level of crazy positivity knocking around, which essentially acts as  blindfolds and earplugs to the hurt that is just around the corner, if even that far away from any of us.

I really worry about the message that the massive emphasis on positivity sends out. In short, I feel that stuff like: ‘What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger,’ essentially makes people who are in horrible situations feel like it’s their fault for not being able to get out quagmires that would be overwhelming to absolutely anyone.

Some people, though, have a way of doing very simple things that reveal all that could be great in a world that often seems to be losing its way and imploding into ‘I’ ‘I’ ‘I-ness.’

Here’s one example of such simplicity which I happened upon, as I was out and about the other day here in Co. Waterford:

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Thoughfulness ~ Step at a Time

 

 

Hillary, Donald and the Simple Things

I spent half the afternoon watching last night’s US Presidential Election Debate on You Tube. I’m a political animal and would have stayed up half the night but had been up almost all night the night before so sleep won.

It  was very strange to be sitting in my kitchen here in the South-East of Ireland, watching Hillary and Donald do battle. I had made a point of not listening to any analysis of the debate until I had seen it for myself.

It was intriguing viewing and I couldn’t keep myself from thinking about the human beings that lay behind all the talk. Nor, could I stop myself from wondering if anyone in America would have the remotest interest in watching a Presidential type debate (or a Prime Ministerial one) from Ireland. I can’t imagine how that would come across to an American audience!

Yes, the human stuff!  How nervous were they?  To what extent did they feel an ironic sense of being in the same boat. After all, even though they are on absolute opposing sides in political terms, they had a lot in common last night as they ‘shared’ that stage being watched by millions and millions of people from all over the world.  In overall terms, I felt that had I been unaware of the background to this debate and just arrived from Mars, I would have thought they were both pretty articulate, civilised human beings. (I never, ever thought I would be writing such a thing!).

The debate certainly dealt with BIG ISSUES ~ world matters; stuff that marks a moment in global history.

It stood in stark contrast to a chance meeting I had this morning with a man who comes to stay in Tramore for the summer months each year. We stopped to have our usual chat and I was sorry to hear that he’s packing up to go back up country this weekend. He’s a fine cut of a guy; well into his seventies and looked a million dollars in a pair of shorts, bare tanned top, and a his wide brimmed sun hat.

He’s known hardships in his life but is always on for a laugh, as well as down-to-earth honesty. After our ‘hellos’ he pointed out to the dancing sea and then up to the beaming sun and just said: It’s the simple things …’ 

I’ve been thinking about his words in the context of all the hullabaloo about the US Presidential debate and, what I’ve found very odd, is that I haven’t been able to identify anything that I feel I could call ‘simple.’

I was looking through a heap of photographs to find an image of ‘simplicity’ and this is the one that keeps pressing forward but I hesitate to agree with it!

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‘Solitude’ up the Comeragh Mountains, Co. Waterford

 

 

 

 

 

A Gentle Jaunt

What a relief to be able to walk again and with the blessing of my physiotherapist who was caring as could be about my back issues.

Where else would I go for a lovely flat surface than my old haunt, The Anne Valley trail with its cindery path.

The sun was setting and I’d no idea
how far I would be going – just relieved to be out of captivity.

It was pure Summer and seeng the ripples in the river as fish played,I found myself hummng: ‘Summertime and the livin’ is easy. ..’

Thoughts, too, of The Impressionists as reflections painted their deliousness, luring me deeper and deeper into the enveloping light.

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Reflections and Reflecting
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Haytime
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Dunhill Castle
Magical Moments
Magical Moments

I hope health is being kind to you too and that you are not in pain – physical or emotional.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Breaking the Silence

It’s been quite a while since I last posted and I would like to thank all those who were kind enough to get in touch to ask  if everything was okay.

It’s been a difficult period but the story is not mine to tell. I’m glad to report, though, that the sun is beginning to break through again, however tentatively.

The fragility of life has been at issue and it’s been a time of heightened sensitivity to everything that it is so easy to take for granted.

As always, the ebb and flow of the sea has brought immense comfort. While the world has seemed like a very uncertain and shakey place, the sea has continued to be its beautiful self – rising and falling at the predicted times.

Tonight, I would urge everyone to take time to count their blessings and stop, stop fretting about ‘stuff’ that doesn’t matter one weenchy bit in the grand scheme of things.

Sleep tight, Dear Friends, and thanks for your kindness.

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Sunrise over Tramore Bay, Co.Waterford

Live Life

Life

I don’t want to get to the end of my life and find that I have lived just the length of it. I want to have lived the width of it as well.

( Diane Ackerman)

I love this quote and it made me think of the road out near Ballyscanlon Lake here in Co. Waterford. You could be driving along this lovely winding road and not think to look over the high hedge. Lying beneath is one of the most delightful lakes I know:

Ballyscanlon Lake, Co. Waterford
Ballyscanlon Lake, Co. Waterford

 

Turning Corners

Life is full of corners of all descriptions ~ big and small.  As Ireland stands poised on the verge of turning the corner into Summer time tonight, with the clocks moving forward, I got to thinking about a corner that has huge significance for me in everyday terms.

It’s a corner out at Garrarus Beach which can only be rounded if the tide is ‘right’ and by ‘right’ I mean if it is out a bit and heading out. It is very easy to get cut off if the tide is coming in and while there are ways back, they are rather precarious to say the least. This is definitely a place where you need to know if the tide is ebbing or flowing:

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Perfect Timing

Puppy Stan has a very healthy respect for the corner, especially if the waves are closing in on it and he has learned never to dash round it in hope.

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Waiting for the ‘Okay.’

Getting round the corner when the water is still high can mean waiting for just the right moment to make a run for it and you are then rewarded with a view of what seems like the eyes of the cliff looking forward. I often think it’s most like the face of a tiger but it can seem like all sorts of wild creatures depending on the light.

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Eyes to the Future

What lies ahead is another stretch of beach and very high cliffs that lend lots of shelter.

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A Splash of the Future

Turning corners that you don’t know can be exciting and scary at the same time. But, one thing’s for sure, every single life has a host corners in it and we simply don’t know what’s around most of them. That’s part of what makes life so interesting, unpredictable, challenging, exciting …..

You can look back around some corners, if you’re so inclined and there you see what you’ve left behind. It almost always looks different in hindsight:

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What’s Gone Before

This little corner out at Garrarus Beach always makes me think about corners I have rounded and that lie in wait.

Sometimes, I barely realise that I’m rounding a corner as it is so gradual but others are like hairpin bends with no warning signs. Rounding a corner can represent a moment of major change or it can go unnoticed.

Do YOU have Corners, physical or otherwise, that have special meaning in your life or daily round?