that river back home, Ireland 2016

A few summers ago I found myself back at my parents house, staying in the bed I grew up in. I was 30 at the time and having these trailing thoughts that didn’t really go anywhere other than “what in the world am I doing with myself?

There’s a river near their house, and growing up we were there every summer, swimming, cycling, going for walks, wandering around. Without realising it, I was spending a lot of my time back at this river, walking between two points a few kilometers apart, the Bullworks and Lovers Leap. Both are popular swimming spots, but over the years have a lot of tragedy attached, from accidents to deaths to suicides. “At least one every summer died down here but that didn’t stop us, we’d jump in and swim over the hole and feel the current pull us.

Sometimes my Mam would join on the walks, once my Dad, sometimes friends and often alone. Nothing out of the ordinary happened. Helping a friend look for a lost dog, bumping into people I hadn’t seen in years, finding out what everyone was up to these days and hearing all the news from home.

One friend had just got out of a 9 year relationship and wanted to get away to Japan to see a fish market. Another was thinking back to a previous girlfriend, although he married someone else. “Do you feel you missed the boat on that one?.....yeah definitely.

For three months I continued these walks trying to figure out what in the world I was doing with myself.

October 22nd 2022