It's October and the evenings are drawing in. Like thousands of other Irish parents my sons are surfing under Australian blue skies, drinking coffee in the street cafes of Berlin or taking classes in a New York film school. Spreading their wings spectacularly while I follow their adventures from my perch on the hill.
Tonight the random rape and murder of one of their friends in Melbourne, 12,000 miles from home weighs heavily on me. The fragility of life and the grief of others has stopped me in my tracks. My sorrow is for her father and mother, for the friends out there, at how a young man could be so isolated and cut-off from any sense of reality or care, to inflict such pain.
Most days in the grassy wetlands I head out alone with my camera to meet up with one of my best teachers and collaborators, Mother Nature. It's late now but still I pound up the hill towards the forest, mutterring to myself about the world, about the fear. I don't pray but I carry all of our young emigrants in my heart as I walk the land. I carry their questions and their anger.....
To the west the sun is setting and to the east the moon is rising. I am reminded of other nights when I travelled the world myself. When I slept under the stars in the Black Forest in Germany and a moon just like this one hung over it like a Max Ernst painting. When I wept with frustration at having no where to sleep in Paris until a kind Jesuit found me a room. When I travelled by subway in NY chewing gum as a strategy to look tough, the most innocent looking pale faced girl on that train!
And here, with one foot in a rural haven and one foot in the global chaotic melting pot, with questions, confusion and anger whirring.......Mother Nature again whispers in my ear. Before I think twice I am reaching for the camera, I am besotted by this sky, I am again engrossed in the moon, the peace and the memories.
As I walk home pondering it all, I think about my boys and their friends wherever they are tonight. I imagine them under this clear sky with the chubby clouds. And then I close my eyes and with all my heart I give them the moon............
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Our guest and newest collaborator - Catherine Drea, comes to us from County Waterford, Ireland, blogging "about life in Foxglove Lane, photographing the ordinary and the everyday in a place where nothing much happens." Thank you, Catherine, for joining us here!