Echoes in the hills of Allihies.

When my children were babies I dreamed of a day, many years in the future, when I would enjoy a weekend away without them. I watched others with older children and imagined their easier lives. My ultimate dream was to one day enjoy the sights and sounds of Allihies… alone. Those years have flown past, some harder than others, but the day I dreamed of has arrived. I am away for the weekend in Allihies, child free.

Allihies West Cork
As the sun sets on a perfect day I know I must turn back. My other half is enjoying his own bit of heaven, watching a very important rugby match on TV (yawn). I had left two hours previously to walk over the hills, to enjoy the magnificent views and to get my head around the fact I was here child free.

I should have known as I drove the few miles to begin my walk, that I had been foolish to believe I was alone.

Passing the little beach that is Garnish, I stopped the car for a moment to gaze at the white sand and still water. Opening the window to hear the lap of the sea, I clearly say my little ones, over many years, casting off clothes, indifferent to the cold, running into the sea. My eyes strayed to the rocks on the beach, where one morning I sat with my youngest child and watched the sun come up, as she slept in her back pack, having woken at 5.30am.
I parked at the small pier to begin my climb, but not before remembering the hours spent finding flat stones to play skip skap with, or turning over large rocks in search of crabs. Smiling I heard their screams of delight when they saw one, and fear when they thought I was bringing it too close.Allihies
Away from the shore I looked at the climb ahead, it seemed smaller without little ones. Climbing my first ladder I head towards the ‘trolls bridge’ which we had always approached in silence, for fear we would wake him and he might grab a child.
I walked quickly upwards towards the incredible blue sky, pausing occasionally to enjoy the stunning views.
On the way I passed a cluster of rocks, and remembered taking my eldest on this climb when she was nine, just the two of us.There had been a brief shower and we had sheltered in a ‘cave’ there. Hard to believe my eldest baby is almost fully grown, and in her final year of college.

Climbing on wards I begin to relax and enjoy the many voices from the past drifting over the hills.

“I’m the winner”, my daughter as she raced ahead.
“Is is time for a picnic?” said by each child on many occasions.
“Ow”, said by all, but mostly my son, as he placed his hand on prickly gorse.
“Take it easy”, my husbands shout as they began to descend running.Allihies West Cork

Reaching the top I realise the climb did not take the many hours it used to, with small children stopping for many picnics. I sit for awhile before journeying down stopping regularly, hoping I will never forget this day, the weather and the stunning views.
All the while I am climbing there is not another soul around. I feel alone, a part of the hills.

I think of the world I will return to, a fast changing one of modern technology, and progress, and I look around me at a world which has not changed in hundreds of years.
It is this world I wish my children to know and be a part of. In years to come I hope the echoes I heard through the hills today, will be heard one day by my own children, and who knows, maybe many years from now, other generations will hear them too.

For this is a place I hope to be a part of forever.

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20 thoughts on “Echoes in the hills of Allihies.

  1. Tric, I love this piece, and I’ve enjoyed every post since I started following you. Having been reading you this long, I have noticed your writing continue to blossom, and this piece is really excellent! I know you put time and effort into your craft, and want you to know it shows.

    1. Thanks Lucia, that means so much to me. I’m delighted. Some writers have a Work In Progress, but for now I think I am my WIP. But I’m getting there slowly. 🙂 You are really kind to take the time to let me know. You’ve made my night.

  2. Love this Tric. You’re a lovely,overly writer.
    Let’s make a deal? You can have a hankering for the chubby sticky hands I have so many of, if I can have a hankering for that lovely walk! And we’ll both go on enjoying what we’ve got!

  3. That was lovely, Tric. One of my daughters hates sticky hands and says that is why she will remain childless. Your photos are beautiful!

    1. Actually would you believe it I have a daughter who hates sticky hands too, but I’ve never heard her declare she’ll remain childfree. Thanks Jackie 🙂

      1. It could be, too, that her sister always had sticky, dirty hands. I was lucky; I got one of each!

        I doubt either of my girls will have children for several reasons: The expense, time involved and they prefer a career. My daughters are going out in the world with their eyes wide open.

    1. Thank you. Memories really are 3D. I had the most wonderful trip up the mountain but as you say if my OH had been with me it would have been a very different experience but I’d have missed those echoes.

  4. Beautiful post Trich, I was almost there with you. Finally there child-free…. but referencing them all the time 😉 As we parents do of course! Now that I get more child-free time I’m very aware that I’m getting close to my teenager no longer wanting to come with us. All that time looking forward to some child-free time and now when there’s lots on the horizon I’m beginning to wonder……

    1. Yes wonder is a good word. It is great and I love spending time with my older kids and we have great fun, but yes it’s strange to think those baby days are over. Thank you.

    1. Thank you. Well said, I do think we forget that ‘they are providing us with memories too’. I’m glad you enjoyed the post, it was a lovely one to write.

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