Foreign feeling familiar

After 11 days abroad and one epic night in Dublin, I had lots of things to get done. Instead, I took myself for a long walk in the Curragh drizzle. As I walked past tall purple and white thistles and gently yodeling sheep, I felt as much gratitude, peace and awe as I had in the Biarritz waves or in the chic Frenchness of St Jean de Luz or as I’d sat on a Bilbao mountain listening to The Cure. I was 10 minutes from home and these Kildare plains felt as foreign to me as Singapore or Guatemala and as familiar as the smells of hill walking in Donegal or childhood caravaning in Kerry.

Tiny globes of water perched upon each blade of grass like translucent peas of promise. They were perfect yet fragile as a whisper. From a distance, they looked like candyfloss or clusters of fairies. I turned my face up to the mist and it felt like I was walking into soft ocean spray. My feet became wetter and wetter as I swung them into those miniscule aquatic spheres.

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