We got back this afternoon from our two day holiday in Wicklow. After a rocky start to the 1 hour car journey there (Síofra turned green and we all thought she was going to redecorate the backseat of the rental car with her lunch) we arrived in Laragh safe and sound. The reward for the bumpy journey was a spendid walk in the woods at Glendalough, one of the most beautiful places in Ireland. I don't care that I've been there a million times over the past 14 years, it's spectacular and the views are magical everytime.
Síofra and Paddy turned every stone and tree stump they came upon to investigate the insects, leaves and rotting wood. Síofra was on the lookout for fairies, as they most certainly live in this forest. Sadly, she spotted none, but she did see where they gather at nighttime for their fairy parties. We spent a half hour at this upturned tree stump. Daithí found that when he gave his best shout, we could hear the most amazing echo through the glen, like in the cartoons. So the kids tried it, too.
The next day was bright and sunny, so we drove to the beach at Brittas Bay. It was gorgeous, and the kids loved it. Síofra spent 15 minutes alone examining the different colours of the sand. They collected shells, stones, and even dared to put their toes into the sea; braver than the parents were!
And, we visited one of my favourite places in Glendalough, the pagan well. The tree growing at this old well has been adorned with bits of fabric, ribbons, notes, and string by its visitors as they made a wish. When I was pregnant for Síofra I tied a ribbon on the tree and hoped for her to be born safe and sound. And just before I became pregnant for Paddy I did the same, and wished for another healthy baby. It's a special place for me; surrounded by mountains and next to a river, it's more special than any church or building could ever be. Unfortunately, a caretaker who thought he knew best decided that all these remnants of its visitors' hopes and dreams were "unsightly" (according to the woman at the info desk), and the tree has been cut back. But that didn't stop us.
So I made wish this time, too.