28 February 2013

now we must return

The next morning we got up and headed straight back to Saint Patrick's Cathedral on the purpose of seeing the interior. The fee of admittance was very high though so we decided to head over to Christ's Church instead after sitting outside and watching the sun rise over the roof of Saint Patrick's. It bounced so beautifully through the fountains in its courtyard that we couldn't leave until we'd soaked it in as best we could.

Once we arrived at Christ's church, we found that it also required a large sum to enter. We also found however, that a prayer service was taking place at noon. It was then eleven fifty five. We went up to the desk and told the receptionist that we were there for the noon prayer service and, with a very confused look, she let us in free of charge. Having been unable to find a church service we were permitted in the day before, the prayer service was a much appreciated time of quiet and introspective worship.

The actual interior was impossible to capture in a photograph so I didn't try. However, I snapped a photo of the floor which I think expresses the feel very well.

This day we did have a vague idea of where we wanted to go so we figured out a route to Glasnevin Cemetery. Our plan didn't turn out to be as easy as we thought and we struggled to find the correct bus. Yet another cultural difference appeared because not only did the bus driver tell us his bus was not the correct one, but he took the time to tell us which bus number we needed as well as which stop it went to and how to get there. Not only that, but he smiled the whole time. Such a drastic contrast to the bus drivers here in England.

Once we arrived at the cemetery, it was a simple matter of finding the marker for Gerard Manley Hopkins' grave. While his actual resting place is unmarked, he shares a monument with many other priests. It makes no mention of his poetry because he died unknown, but the beauty of the place is beautiful honor to his poetry and I'm not sure as he would want it any different.

Being one of Austin's favorite poets, he read us a couple of his favorites of Hopkins' poems as the sun fell through the pines overhead and the spring grass wrapped around our boots.

A quiet and solemnly beautiful moment.

Our next goal was to reach the sea. We walked down the street, stopped in the post office, and got directions to the dart train station. When we arrived, we were all prepared to pay an unreasonable amount for the train. Yet, all of us were determined to get to the Irish sea. The three euros and thirty cents  that it took was a wonderful surprise.

While waiting for our train, we ate a lunch appetizer of sea salt and vinegar crisps.*

The train carried us along the coast, giving us snatches of water and harbor with white caps in the sunshine. As we watched the Irish country pass us, our lunch crumbs sprinkled down onto our jackets and bags as we devoured the bread, cheese, honey ham, and apples we'd gotten before leaving Dublin.

Then there was the sea. 

We walked around to the working fish port of Howth and climbed down onto the rocks below the harbor breakers.

Determined to continue my tradition of touching every ocean and sea that I can, We took off our shoes and put our feet into the frigid Irish Sea. All the guys bravely stated that it "really isn't that cold." Not bound by the need to protect our manliness, Sonya and I called out to "take the picture faster!" and "oh my goodness it's painful!" which it was.

We then sat and looked and thought and wrote. Just quiet, just companions. The sun sunk and turned the sky to delicate orange and then soft purple. As time ticked by, I felt my heart get cleaner in the ocean air.

Leaving was a slow process of walking up a few steps of the long stair case, turning around, and gazing at the new view. 

We finally had to tear ourselves away or risk missing our bus to the airport. We made it very easily however and sat at the top front. We wanted to take every last glimpse of Ireland that we could soak in. While the bus we ended up on wasn't a direct route, it drove through little streets and neighborhood and then veered back towards the ocean. We were greeted with a full Irish moon shining down on rippled waves. The most beautiful moon I have ever seen.

Arriving at the airport ready for another stressful rush through to the gate, we were met with an empty airport and detailed signs leading us in the right direction. Of course the time we have plenty of time to get through is when it is really simple to get through. We weren't complaining though and it was a wonderful end to our trip. 



Sam said...

"As time ticked by, I felt my heart get cleaner in the ocean air." BEAUTIFUL.

Also, I want to live in that picture of the boat. That is where I want to dwell.

PS be on the lookout for an email from me soon, followed by postcards that should be heading across the pond now.

Katie Beth said...

We shall dwell there together, yes? : )

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