The road home
It’s only two hours away. A car journey westwards, followed by a ten minute ferry across Baltimore Harbour. Not very far at all, really. But Covid-19 restrictions have placed Sherkin Island a million miles away. Tell me, how are our flowers doing? Has the rambling rose we planted on the gable end fallen over now? What about the pots of mint either side of the front door? Soft splashes of green stand ready for the new potatoes that were never planted.
Inside awaits too. Winter’s dampness now warmed and air dried. Is it suffocating? No windows open since winter. No surfaces wiped. Spiders running amok, no doubt. And our plans… where are they now? Those lofty notions of white washing ceilings and walls in springtime. The annual sweep of dust and grime awaits. The flat-packed cupboard waiting to stand tall and to hold those new china bowls that would gladden anyone’s heart.
I’m guessing the stove is saying nothing. Embers long gone, leaving flickering memories of Nellie curled up in her bed after a day on the beach and walking Sherkin’s lanes.
There’s a wicker basket full of wool tucked behind the rocking chair. Is it covered in dust now? Listen, and you might hear a soft sigh of contentment as a crochet hook weaves its way around and around.
Is the clock with the tick that’s too loud still in the bathroom, the only place where sleepers can’t hear it? The damp may have stopped it. If it is still going, will you tell it to stop? Hold back the summer. Cocoon it like the old ones. Time. Time. Time. Summertime. Sherkin time.
One small cottage standing in silence.
Hello all. There are far worse things happening in the world so I hope that you will take this piece in the spirit of what it is – a self-indulgent refection brought on by seeing this photo on my phone. The house will wait. Sherkin will wait. In fact, it looks like restrictions on Ireland’s off-shore islands are set to change soon. Let me know how you are doing and I look forward to seeing your posts.