Irish wisdom

When I lived in Portugal for a year, on  my return, I was lucky enough to meet my parents and brother, Tom in Ireland.  We spent to beautiful weeks traveling by car and getting to know the people.  I took tons of pictures and spent time with my folks that I will cherish for the rest of my life.  When I met my mother’s mother’s sister, who still in the sod covered house that my grandmother had lived in.  We spent the afternoon there, My mother asking questions.  As for Tom and I, we took lots of photos.  I promise to dig them out and share.  When we were getting ready to leave, the aunt took her hands in mine and told me that I had a gift.  She did not explain anything else but she said I will know it when it happens.  Well, today folks it happened again.

I had a weird sensation this morning, like something was going to happen.  I kept thinking of Julia and thought how lucky we were that she was not in Egypt or anywhere else that political unrest could happen.  I remember saying to myself that this was indeed selfish, and I was embarrassed.  I had this conversation in my head as I was folding laundry.  I thought she is protected from political unrest in the Galapagos but what about the water.

I will cut and paste Julia’s email to me this afternoon.  By the grace of our Lord she is alright.  My uneasiness is still present as I know that she is still shivering inside. I wish I could hug her.  I remember my dad saying the same thing to me where we met at the airport in Shannon, Ireland.  Circles………..our lives are circles………..  Please call your children tonight if you have them and remind them how  utterly precious they truly are to you. Here is Julia’s email.

See  you soon,



Hi Mama,

Hope you're having a better Tuesday than I am. So for class today we
went to La Loberia which is a beach on the side of the island. Its
supposed to have decent surf waves and sea turtles to see. We were
supposed to go snorkeling and have a great day but about 20 minutes in
the water all hell broke loose. We were swimming close to our
professor and looking at a school of fish, and we took our faces out
of the water to talk about the school when we realized that we were
caught in the middle of a freak tide. My entire class except for three
people were with us but it was too late. Originally we thought is was
a rip tide with which you swim parallel to the beach but after five
minutes of that we realized we were getting pulled out further towards
the waves and open ocean. We got churned and churned around so much
that I lost my sense of direction for a bit. Not to mention the waves
that were repeatedly crashing on us that sent us underwater for what
seemed like twenty minutes. I didn't know which way was up or where I
was supposed to swim towards. Some of us were convinced we were going
to die. My friend Ellie was so close to giving up. I lost my snorkel
because I gave it to my friend Ricky who offered to hold it for me so
I could swim better towards the shore, but he got clobbered by a wave
and lost our snorkels and his flippers. The current was absolutely
insane. If you stopped swimming for like 30 seconds to catch our
breath or decide where to swim, the current pulled you out towards to
ocean about 20 yards. I have never ever experienced or heard of
anything as crazy as that. My friend Tiara isn't a strong swimmer and
kept getting stuck in the current until one of the local surfers who
happened to be at the beach noticed our struggle and came and
eventually got her out about 15 minutes after the rest of us. By the
time I had gotten free of the current I was completely exhausted and
and had about 15 ft until the shore. Managed to catch a wave into the
rocks, which hurt but I wanted to get out of the water so bad I didn't
care. We were stuck in the water for what seemed like hours, but
apparently when we got out it had only been about 40 mins that we were
struggling. We all somehow made it back safely, I'm just a little
scraped up from the rocks, did something to my toe, and I am more than
a little shell-shocked. Not too sure I'm ever going to get back into
the water. I feel like I'm in a daze. I miss you a lot and I wish you
were here. I could really use a hug from you. I haven't stopped crying
since we got back. I talked to my professor who has been living here
and going to that beach for 30 yrs and he says he had never ever seen
or been in the middle of anything like that here or anywhere. The
local surfer said the same thing. Anyways, I've been drinking water
and breathing deeply but I'm pretty exhausted. I have never ever swam
for my life. It was so surreal. I'm going to try and get a new
cellphone today to call you, my other one crapped out on me on
Saturday. The phone screen is completely useless. Tried to get it
fixed but I think the lady made it worse. I love you and I will call
you as soon as I can.


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Nora
    Mar 02, 2011 @ 02:14:55

    Wow, what an incredible and harrowing experience. I wish I was there to hug her too. I will try to email her tonight and let her know we are all reaching out to her. Love, Nora


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