bodies of water
I joke about growing up land-locked. But the truth is that I did, for the most part. When I was little, the largest body of water was a manmade lake. It was beautiful and I still love it but I learned quickly that it wasn’t “real” water. Being of Irish descent as I am, I think there’s something inside me that longs for the sea. Even if the little girl version of me didn’t know what to call it, she wanted it too.
I saw a few naturally occuring lakes in Colorado as a small child and they were cool but the watershed (no pun intended) experience was visiting my great-grandmother in Sault Sainte Marie, Michigan when I was newly a teenager. It was early summer so too cold to swim but for the first time the body of water was so vast that I couldn’t see the other side. Which rocked the socks. Add to it the locks and I was sold.
The I saw the Pacific Ocean on a trip out west on my way to Australia (more amazing water and the Southern Hemisphere sky), the then Atlantic Ocean and random bodies of water around parts of the UK and central Europe. It was all amazing and something about staring out at endless waves comforts me but I became a bit jaded. I admit it. There were suddenly so many lakes, rivers and oceans.
But then, as always happens in life, something came along to take my breath away. The pictures in the travel guides or on websites could not prepare me for it either. Along with my mother and my maternal grandparents, I took a trip to Ireland and I witnessed this:
The Cliffs of Moher. Not only did it feed on my historical passion (I love getting to see things as they were hundreds or thousands of years ago) but there was something so wild about them. Maybe it’s the fact that the wind is stronger or it was misting when we visited them. The contrast between the lakes of my childhood and this rocky landscape was shocking. And iconic. I grew up protected and sheltered but now I am left to life’s unpredictability. I wouldn’t trade my childhood, even the fake lake, but I would never be able to go back. I’ve seen the ocean and I’m hooked.
I hope your week contains some wild abandon,