Tonight the sun and warmth beckoned me out. It was a rare warm day in Dublin and my body was calling for a wander.
It was also my father’s anniversary. Eight years ago today he passed away, suddenly, and as deaths go, beautifully. He was a man of magic and adventure, a man full of fun and spirit. So, to mark the occasion, I asked, ‘What would Jimmy have liked to do this evening?’ Any answer would inevitably have to involve water or boats, and so the answer which came to me was a swim at the 40ft (For those reading this who are not familiar with the geography I inhabit, the 40ft is a wonderful swimming spot about 6 miles south of Dublin’s City centre)
So off I went on my bike, into the sun and the evening light. Sea swimming is one of my favourite things to do. Without fail, it makes me feel alive in a deep way and dives me into the fully present. When I swim in Irish waters it also makes me feel cold, but I can generally bear with that, given the benefits!
I took my time coming back home, cycling a route which brought me along the coast, via as much greenery as the trip allowed. It felt great to be out, away, moving. The time to myself like a gift, even more so with the memory of my father blazing large. As I swam, vivid childhood memories kept flashing back and I returned again to the sense of alive which the sea gave us both. Open waters have a way of unlocking things within me and each time I am there, I say to myself, ‘you need to do this more often!’ One day, I have a sense, the sea will be at my doorstep.
Returning home, an email from a friend awaited, with a photo attached of these apt, wise and wonderful words from John O’Donoghue. Somehow they made the journey home complete, a day of ‘quite miracles’, a gift of a day, embedded deep into the ‘heart of wonder’.
(all photos taken with iPhone)