Atlantic Irish Mist

For me, a place can never be neutral; landscapes, seascapes, cityscapes…we are shaped by whatever ‘-scape’ surrounds and envelopes us. We come to mirror our environment so to speak.  Have you ever thought about ‘place’ in a profound and philosophical sense?

A rugged terrain appears to characterise its people as tough and hardy; never fearful of getting their hands dirty or their feet muddy.

Coastal in habitants tend to never take for granted the mysterious element that is the sea – calm or chaotic – it will always take its quota of lives.

Lament of a rugged landscape or calamitous sea can be read on the faces and bodies of those working the land or heading out into the vast ocean.

Have you ever felt the scent of the sea waft under your nostrils when you’re journeying through the coast? I’d like to hear about your experiences. ‘Tasting’ a place, literally and metaphorically, is about using our senses to imbue ourselves with the sense of place.

The coast and the sea are important to me. As I sit, I watch the grey clouds travel across ‘an already grey sky’, from the south-west, bringing with them rain from the Atlantic. As they sweep across the sky, Atlantic mist is forming, creating a curtain or rather a blind that closes down on the sea, and thus, shutting out the horizon.

The coast is busy with cargo ships ‘ebbing and flowing’ as the pilot boat transports the local maritime pilots to and from awaiting vessels, each containing specific freight. It’s amusing to guess the size of the boat, from where it came and its onward journey once it leaves the Port of Cork.

The curtain continues to sweep across the bay. I never tire of this view or any sea view for that matter. It is ever-changing; no two days are the same. The curtain draws back, the blind swings up; the clouds are a much lighter shade, yet still no sun in sight, but I don’t mind. That is the beauty of coastal Ireland.

By the way, if you get a chance to view an Irish TV programme called Creedon’s Atlas of Ireland, it is really worth watch. The presenter, John Creedon, explores the true meaning behind some of Ireland’s most unusual and famous place names; each episode is a journey of discovery as John surveys and strides across the island of Ireland for lost meanings in everyday place names. It’s a 3-part series on Sundays at 18h30 for one hour on RTÉ One. You can view it online: http://www.rte.ie/player. Check out my review…

Let’s ‘clean-up’ our act!

It’s great to know that Irish fishers are involved in cleaning-up our seas and oceans. Goodness knows fishers get bad press; and of course, people tend to put all fishers in the one basket. Or as an Irish fisherman once said to me “they’re being tarred with the same brush”.  Many of Ireland’s fishers are involved in the ‘Fishing for litter’ scheme; collecting plastic and other waste from the sea without any incentive but just wanting a better marine environment. I am proud, we all should be, that Irish fishers are involved in such a scheme that can only benefit all of us.

We must realise that we are all more or less guilty of polluting our seas whether directly or indirectly. Just think about all those micro-plastics found in your everyday products. Think about it next time you use your favourite cleansing lotion, or when you brush your teeth. We all have choices to make and we all have the power to choose what is best for us and our planet. Make the planet a better place to be and, especially, think about ‘cleaning-up our act’ for future generations; it is really worthwhile.

We do not require any extraordinary means. Suffice to make positive changes on a personal level.  Next time you’re taking a stroll along the beach pick-up a piece of litter and bin it. Making positive changes as individuals leads to collective transformations.

Ask yourself what kind of a planet do you wish to bestow on the next generation?