The Grass is Always Greener

The grass is always greener on Instagram #wildatlanticway. Scenes of brilliant green fields with cliffs,
beaches and meandering coastline, sun breaking through cumulus clouds. A mythical fairy land,
beautiful, stunning, spectacular. The images on my phone inspire me to get in the car and drive for
an hour and a half until I reach the ring of Kerry, appreciating the quiet roads in winter. I don’t know
where I’m going exactly. I’m looking for an experience of something that matches the Instagram
I’m following the road and I’m not sure where I am. The sea appears in front of me. I pull into a
viewing area and get out of the car. My legs are stiff and its drizzling. I can’t see far, the colours are
muted, grey green grass, steel grey sea. It is nothing like the tiny images that propelled me out here.
As I stand in the drizzle, I am overwhelmed by the size of the sea. I can’t see the big view of it, but I
can feel the huge body of water and its continuous movement. The sea mist is on my skin and
clothes. That sea smell both fresh and putrid fills my nostrils. The salt taste is on my tongue and the
sound of the stones being dragged backwards and forwards tirelessly, drowns out all other sounds.
My edges blur and my heart opens out towards the hidden horizon. For maybe a minute or two, I am
completely absorbed. The wildness in my soul exults in the elemental vastness and dangerous
beauty of the sea.
No photo will capture this. No words will do it justice. This is not for Instagram. This is being alive,
naked and free.
I can only touch this state. I cannot stay in it long. I am wet and cold, and I am drawn back to the
comfort and shelter of the car. It is painful to leave that experience of the sea behind me, which was
so much more than I expected. I turn the radio on, the conversation is comforting. I am back in the
human realm. I will stop and get a coffee and a sandwich in the next town. And yet I am not
unchanged, my hair is wilder, my eyes too.