Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The Dreams Beneath

I was thinking back to my fourteen year old self. I remember walking along the beach in West Cork in summer, picking up shells, discarding them if marred in anyway, looking at driftwood, seeing the pictures inside, bringing pieces back to our tiny rented cottage (parents, six children, 5 tiny rooms, no bathroom), my mother looking at me aghast:

And where do you think we'll find room for this?

Me finding a space over the cliffs in a difficult to access bay and finding a cave for my treasures, thinking:

Some day, I'll have the sound of the sea beside me all the time and my treasures will be part of my life.

I was walking along the beach with the dog today, we love this daily romp, she and I. She finds her own treasures (crabs not quite cleaned out by the gulls, unlicked clam shells) and I look for old glass and driftwood and feathers and shells. And my fourteen year old self presented herself and said excitedly:

Look, we made it happen, you and me!

And we brought our treasures home.

And together, we looked for the pictures.


  1. That's great, WWW. I'm glad your 14 year old is happy now. That's quite an achievement. I must look back on my younger version and try to remember what she wanted from life. XOX

  2. how lovely. I feel a great homesickness to be by the sea again. I grew up on Cape Cod and my family has been there since the Mayflower. No wonder I miss it.
    I remember living in bathroom less cottages in Ireland. Could not do it now.

  3. Wow, my 14 year old self has totally disappeared in the mists of time. But I know I had very little idea of what I wanted from the rest of my life. I was too busy surviving the horrors of an authoritarian all-male boarding school. Glad your life is working out so well!

  4. Did you know all along that your life purpose was to fulfill that childish dream of a space by the sea to bring your treasures home? I don't know the details of your life but what a long winding trail to get there! And good for you that you did at all, too many of us never do.

  5. Yay! Keep bringing the treasures home. I think there is a fourteen year old in all of us.
    I collect far too many things.
    Maggie X

    Nuts in May

  6. Nora:
    We don't go back often enough, it is such a shame, they have so much to teach us!
    Yes, I know I'm meant to live close to the sea, I'm lost without it. we only had to stay in the cottage a month of the year and we loved it, almost primitive the existence was and I truly believe it defined me.
    Did you not have dreams then to sustain through your appalling surroundings? What a horrible experience!
    For far too many years I was completely lost and never thought of my inner at all. Just busy scraping by and escaping from. It is only in recent years with the pressures off that my world has opened up again.
    Maggie May:
    Collecting our newfound treasures is bliss!

  7. Wonderful. And I have similar memories from living near the ocean in my adolescence. Now I live on Hilo Bay and am very very happy.

  8. Ah Hattie, you have the bonus of PERFECT weather, yeah?


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