Une Île Improbable.
Last Monday the lessons at the Mean scoil (Secondary school) started again while for the children at the Kindergarten and Primary school there was still another week of holidays to come! But with the start of the new year at school, the voices of children on their bikes, the chatting of the mothers behind the prams while going to the shop and extended families walking to the beach was not anymore. It disappeared all of a sudden so it seemed…Looking back it has been a lovely and a seemingly endless lasting summer with weeks of pure sunshine.
With the returning home of the families from elsewhere it felt as if Inis Meáin itself, grew numb. May be it was only less than a day but it felt much longer. It was as if the island had fallen into a kind of a vacuum, a situation of standing still. During the months of summer it had been in the enduring embrace of people who once lived here and now it was on its’ own again feeling the pain of loss…
I suppose the arrival of the freight boat bringing hay for the cattle was a respite for the farmers to be busy again, going up and down with their tractors, bringing the carried food in stock. And with that life of the daily chorus was taken up again. The island was returning into balance.
It was only a couple of days later that a man came in. Actually he did not come in first. No, not at all, still standing on the threshold he could not do anything else than to tell what was on his mind… During the half an hours’ walk from the new pier he said, he had been fallen from one amazement into the other: he had not seen anybody on the road. There were only high stone walls to walk in between, as well as those standing further up and down in the little fields where some cattle was kept. And there was complete silence.
After having a cup of tea he confessed : “I did not know that such a sanctuary like this exists: Inis Meáin, une île improbable! (an improbable island)”. And I agreed.
Slán go fóill,
Elisabeth from Inis Meáin.