The day started out beautifully with a ‘cycle’ to the church house and back. Ireland is gorgeous with rolling meadows and impressive hedges. Often I found myself with a goofy smile on my face, just giddy with the thought, “This is Ireland!” I drank everything in like it was from the Fountain of Youth. The scenes never grew stale. Always excitement: “Look at the cows.” “Oh, the sky!” “This rain is lovely.” “What a pretty road.” “I need my camera!”
The rest of the afternoon was relaxed enough. Our plans were to travel to Hook Lighthouse and be there over lunch time with a picnic on the rocks of the Hook peninsula. Later we would make our way to the Ship Dunbrody to learn about the Irish Immigration to America during the Potato Famine.
So we set off for the Lighthouse. Again, the scenery. was. Beautiful! Limestone houses with vivid doors and sidewalks all around. Stone fences running through fields dotted with sheep. Clouds and the occasional rainbow overhead. Castles and churches with colorful banners. Could it get any better?
But it did. We crossed the River Suir on a ferry. While waiting for the ferry, we got out of our cars and took photographs of the town of Passage East and Regina Yoder told us the legend of the Passage East goats. Apparently not too long ago, there were wild goats on the hillside right out of town. Lots of goats, maybe fifty. And suddenly, the all disappeared. Or most anyway. There are still a few left, roaming the caves of the hillside. We saw a few of them and took photos as if they were endangered!
We then crossed the River, a glorious journey, and continued our trip south. The further down the peninsula we went, the fancier the houses became. The closer we got to the lighthouse, the more vacationers we saw. People on blankets by the coast, dipping their toes in the Celtic Sea. Then we saw it. The Hook Lighthouse.
Yes. We have arrived. And this is gonna be good.
We purchased tickets and found a red door in front of which to pose. We waited and felt people stare at us. Then a pretty young Irish boy came and opened the red door and invited us into the heart of the Lighthouse. In a charming Irish accent (Really. It really was charming. I fell for that easy-yet-crisp-yet delicate voice many times.), he told us about the beginning and history of the Hook Lighthouse. We climbed three sets of stairs – wet, narrow, steep stairs. And green. Green stairs. Yes! The stairs were green!
The levels of the Lighthouse had many little rooms with windows. Most of them were open, looking out on the sea.
Then we reached the top. And the rocks and the grass and the sea and the sky unrolled itself to give us a full panoramic view of the tip of the Hook Peninsula. It was glorious.
[Ack. I took panorama photos, but missed one shot and now my panorama has one large, very significant black hole where there should be beautiful layers of rock. I’m sorry; it’s my mistake, and the blame lies heavily on my shoulders. So please forgive and take lesson: When shooting panoramas, always make sure you have shot the entire view!]
We were at our leisure to make our way back down, so we stopped at the next level and sang. Oh, we made the stone arches ring with “How Great Thou Art” and “Joyful, Joyful”. So loud were we, in fact, that when we got to the next level down, there was another tour group that was waiting for us, open mouthedly staring (okay, so they didn’t all have their mouths open, but a few). The rest of our group waiting outside at the bottom informed us that they heard us from down there. Later as we passed our tour guide, he nodded, smiled, and said, “Very impressive singing!”, to our great wonder and shock! Oh my. How we lived that day 🙂 With what abandonment to the present moment and throwing ourselves into the great wonder of ‘now’, with the glorious opportunity of singing in a lighthouse on the shore of the Celtic Sea. How we will smile and tell children of the adventures to be had in the world, and, if ever they have the chance, to always sing in the lighthouse, wherever and whenever it may be.
After posing by billboards and a lame game of volleyball over a badminton net, we ate lunch on the rocks. As soon as we were done, we ran towards the sea. The sea, the ocean, the way the sun sparkled on the water….it was enchanting. We washed our feet in the Celtic Sea and laughed at the way the waves broke over the rocks to spray our faces with chilly, salty seawater. We wandered over the rocks and found shells that suction themselves onto anything so hard when they feel the slightest feeling of attack. We held them in our palms and giggled at the tickly sensation of their fastening themselves onto our skin. We sat on rock ledges four feet off the water and soaked up the blue sky. We were dazzled by the light on the water that day. (I called it my ‘Sea of Lights’) And someday I will go back with someone I love and we will sit and not say anything, just be ravished by the thought that this happens every day here in this spot – but on this day, God chose us to enjoy it.
Here are the photos:
Capturing Passage East
This might seem like a cheap way to cram in many photos into one post. I beg pardon. Right now this is the best way I know, so if you have a better way, please let me know!