“Next Stop Is Derry. Londonderry.” by Natasha Ganes
They’re called the Dark Hedges of Ballymoney, but only allude to the night during an overcast day. Their thick safety does nothing to protect you from the relentless rain – you’re soaked within seconds. It doesn’t matter because you’re in Ireland on a holiday high.
A black taxi tour in Belfast will take you to the peace walls running along narrow, busy roads. You could spend hours reading the advice of outsiders, but you’ll get mere moments. “Open your arms to change, but don’t let go of your values.” Wise man, that Dalai Lama.
From a speeding train’s window, you snap a shot just as the wind steals a man’s kite and launches it into the cloudy sky. Maybe it flies free forever or perhaps it plummets into the sandy beach seconds later; you’ll never know because the scenery has already changed.
In the midst of all that green (endless citron/cyan/celadon/emerald/forest/hunter/lime) a field of bright gold appears. The sudden contrast takes your breath away, reminds you of home, makes you grin. You’ve already seen more than most.
Smugly tucked between the giant columns of basalt little worlds thrive, stepped over by tourists, ignored by the howling winds, assured of their safety.
It’s a 98 foot drop from the swinging rope bridge to the icy waters below, but you won’t fall because you’re on holiday and besides the guide swears no one has, “at least this year.” You believe him and jump your way across with abandon.
At Dunluce Castle your phone drops to the ground and on your way up from retrieving it you find an accidental heart. Imperfect perhaps, but there nevertheless. The clichés of lucky in love mix with the luck of the Irish. It’s all coming together now.