“In my own worst seasons I’ve come back from the colorless world of despair by forcing myself to look hard, for a long time, at a single glorious thing: a flame of red geranium outside my bedroom window. And then another: my daughter in a yellow dress. And another: the perfect outline of a full, dark sphere behind the crescent moon. Until I learned to be in love with my life again.”
– High Tide in Tucson by Barbara Kingsolver
Relocating from Lisbon to Galway hasn’t been without its ups and downs (ups: walks on the prom, fruit scones, exploring the beautiful West of Ireland. Downs: lonely days solo parenting, having to wrap Ari in a gazillion layers to go out, a dearth of custard tarts).
Moving – whether it be to a new house, new city or new country – sort of throws your whole life up in the air, and it can take time for the pieces to fall back into place. You have to work to build a life you love again, bit by bit.
Finding your favourite bread, your go-to Saturday coffee spot, a home for keys, and pens and nail clippers. Discovering what room gets the light when, how to jiggle the back door just so, when the 15.05 bus actually arrives. All of these things take time, and that can come with its fair share of frustrations.
But on the flip side of all that trying to turn the new into the familiar, comes glorious exploration and fresh discoveries. Barna Woods is one such spot.
Like something out of a Tolkien novel, it’s a place of magical, moss-covered woodlands. There are higgledy piggledy stone bridges, plenty of splashy puddles and glorious fresh streams that Ari adored. Better yet, it’s a short bus or 5-minute drive from our front door.
On a recent trip there, we were serenaded by this tiny-but-mighty robin on our way back – a warm welcome if ever I heard one.
First pic of the woods in all their gorgeous dappled glory by Ben.
*This is the first in a series of posts on Galway, and our discoveries here. Hit me up with any recommendations!