Slabs of limestone
It is a cold and windy night when I set foot on the Glór na farraige or the voice of the sea. Many people have also taken the road to the pier like I did to sail for Inis Meáin. As there is already a big crowd inside when I enter the saloon but I only know a few of them. The people themselves though are joined in little as well as in bigger groups. They seem to know one another well. Although much talking is going on there are little parties as well sitting amongst themselves immersed in thought. No one however seems to be bothered by the unexpected rough movements of the boat. There is surely now the focus of mutual sharing of feeling in the familiarity of one another’s company.
Overlooking the fields
It is already dark when we arrive at the pier of Inis Meáin. A long row of people is moving slowly outside the saloon onto the lower deck when the gang way is secured. In the gleam of the light of the lantern poles I see another crowd of people on the pier in this cold and windy night. They are waiting expectant for their families and friends. As a welcome home the people have formed a half circle.
The cliffs of Inis Meáin
One after the other the passengers go up the stairs and disembark. As soon as the first one sets foot ashore the flow of mutual warmth in meeting is affirmed. The shaking of hands and giving hugs to share consolation as well as joy for reunion do not seem to come to an end until the coffin is shored by whom and for whom this all is initiated.
With deep respect I look back on you who passed on suddenly. It is hard to imagine not to meet you anymore on the road, around the fields or coming back from Mass. Always there was a smile and a chat. And even the last two dogs you had; Rover and Sailor, in their dog way both of them had the same sort of gentleness and kindness towards the outside world as you had.
In the sunshine
Thank you for all your sharing.
Slán go fóill,
Elisabeth from Inis Meáin
P.S. I am sorry to tell you that this is the last blog I wrote about my life on Inis Meáin. All these past eight years I have enjoyed to share my experiences with you on the middle island I love so dearly. Alas, it is time for me to move on now. Thank you in gratefulness. Elisabeth