A Monday morning is an easier thing to contend with when at the end of the week the rocky slopes of Aran will come in to view as though rising from the sea. Climbing out of the ocean in the mouth of Galway Bay. There’ll be Inis Óirr, Inis Meáin and the long, bumpy one Inis Mór. We’ll be sailing for the long and bumpy one.
The captain will aim the boat for the low beaches in Killeany and Kilmurvey and our eyes map from there up to the highest point of Oghill. Travelling eyes, dirty with urban dust will calm, come clean in the sea spray and their glare will cool, hearts will beat slower with a body relaxed. If you think that view before you is impressive, you should see the cliffs, at this point, tucked away; using their power to protect the people from the ocean… strong enough.
I’ve been a long time in this city. I don’t mind it and I suppose life gets busier, and new places need to be explored in smaller windows of available time – Aran remains special, undamaged and at peace. I’d hate to feel a connection was being lost, to the place or the people, so I try to keep my body returning there and not only my mind.
Myself and Shona are returning there for our Easter break again this year. This island taught me many things about this world, and introduced me to many people when I was too timid to do it myself. It’s a long while since I’ve made Aran my home and I suppose in those days it had me spoiled when dancing home under the stars and getting caught in winter rains was the norm… “Walking home under stars, after a great night out at Joe Watty’s bar,” like the man said. Well, simple words are often better at bringing memories flooding back quicker and more life like than careful considered words would.
On Saturday morning I’ll be a happy man, an easy breathing man. We’ll rise early to cross the country and avoid any hiccups. We’ll come then to the long straight strip of Galway Bay beyond the city and shoot for the pier at Ros an Mhíl. Once the motorways have been conquered the ferry will turn on her engines and I won’t remember the longings I hold for Aran anymore.
I’ll look out of the window and see Straw Island to my left, Killeany behind it and then we will drift to the right, turning in slowing down and cutting water gently – almost splashing in it. Then, we will disembark once the gangway is down,seperating from the crowds of tourists looking for bicycles, buses and selfies. Feet on the ground that goes by the name Kilronan, in it and not just in mind of it. As it always has been…. stories to tell, hands on the stone walls and we’re there.