Sea Day

(I don’t know where I am…)

We’re on the high seas somewhere between Rosslare in Ireland and Cherbourg in France. Possibly already in the English Channel but can’t be sure. So we’re between places, in transition, not there yet, not started and yet begun.

(Blue is my favorite color, lots on this ship)

It is my joy to know lots of people who are waaay younger than me. I think I like younger people because I never wanted to grow up, to be an adult, to have that haggard oppressed air all adults seemed to have when I was a child. Or it could be that I know how difficult it was for me to make the transition across the space between before-adult and acting-adult, actually I might still be in that space. Or… maybe it’s possibility.

Really young children know possibility. They usually get it knocked out of them when they’ve been in school a couple of years though. But you can re-learn possibility and when you re-learn it you can see it in yourself and in others. It’s a yummy feeling, kinda of sparkly with little pops of joy!

(It’s a bit scary down there…)

I know two waaay younger people who are about to start third level education and I am awash with sparkle and poppy for them! I know their journey might be rocky and messy and scary but it’s also exciting and wonderful and interesting but mainly it’s incredibly beautiful. Because they are incredibly beautiful…

It’s something I learned from standing on the path cheering bus loads of women who had been in Magdalene Laundries… no matter what people say about you, or what you think about yourself, or what you’ve done that seems like a mistake, or what you can’t do that seems like a failure or what you’re afraid you can’t do because you’re not capable, there is at the center of you, an essence, that is pure and white and beautiful and it touches everything you do and all of your journeys.

I wasn’t so sparkly, poppy when it was me… noooo, I was more scared shirtless. I’m sure you’re sick of me telling you I failed third level education, didn’t get the marks, had to leave, no piece of paper, no graduation day. If I had known that failing was just part of my incredibly beautiful journey I might have been kinder, less angry, more patient, less ashamed of myself. It’s very, very difficult to feel sparkly poppy and shame, simultaneously. One kinda pushes the other away and shame is better at pushing.

(The coffee on board may not be great but the cups are an inspiration!)

For today, for me and for you and for those starting new journeys I’m going to give lots of attention to sparkly poppy… because I want it to push stronger.

How about you? Mairead.