I wrote this last September after having Covid, it is a little extract from my book and thought I’d share it with you…
Slowly, as the days go on and I begin to feel a little brighter, I start dreaming about a solo adventure. I long for sea views and wind tousling my hair. It is a challenge to balance being a mum, wife, business owner and a need for my own solitude and solo adventures. Wild places are calling to me, inviting me to communion. I wonder what awaits me there.
Towards the close of the month I drive north from Belfast around the coast road. A rainbow arches from the Glens of Antrim across to the sea as I arrive into the harbour village of Carnlough on the Causeway Coast. A welcoming sight to behold just before the skies unleash an impressively heavy downpour. Kai and I huddle in the car waiting for the storm-clouds to pass. At the first break in the clouds, we hop from the car and get going. Through the village, quiet on weekday except for a group of tourists re-boarding their coach to continue their tour of the coast. We turn off onto a pathway that leads away from the harbour, passing the back of a row of terraced houses, then we walk between fields of sheep and cows. A 1.5km trail leads uphill to Cranny Falls – a splendid gushing waterfall hidden at the end of a narrow track. With no-one else around we have the place all to ourselves and stand awhile listening and watching the water flowing into deep rocky pools beneath the bridge on which we stand.
It rains again, but we don’t mind at all now that we are out. It clears up on the way back along the path, a faded half-moon hangs in the now bright blue sky and painted lady butterflies flit about in the long grass. We take our time, and I pick luscious blackberries from the hedges to take home for the boys. Once back in the village we share scampi and chips on a picnic bench overlooking the harbour, colourful wooden boats bobbing gently on the tame sea. We finish eating just before another downpour and dash back to the car. I stop at a tiny beach on the way home so Kai can have a quick paddle in the sea and dig some holes; his favourite past-time and the only thing that seems to really tire him out. We are pelted by hailstones next and I think how true it is what they say about Northern Ireland experiencing all four seasons in any given day. Visiting Carnlough has been the furthest I’ve ventured on my own since having Covid and I can feel my confidence gradually returning. I am reassured that I will feel well again and that it will simply take time and patience. Our little coastal adventure was exactly the pick-me-up I needed and I head home wind-swept and happy, pockets full of juicy blackberries to share with the family.