The Three Sisters

Standing on the grass covered Rookery quay my senses were set alight by
the smell of salt scented water carried along on the summer breeze.
Looking north, across the river Suir, the Barrow Bridge glistened in the
morning sun. The river appeared to take a breather as high water filled the
cuts and channels all along its banks. Then without fuss, it started to ebb.
The Suir appeared to reach out through the bracelet of the bridge to clasp
hands with her two Sisters, Nore and Barrow. Then hand in hand like
playful children, they began their journey. Swirling along past the little
fishing village of Cheekpoint, the Sisters skipped and danced and played,
darting into inlets and pills and then back out again.
As they round the Mount Rock, they appear to be in a land locked expanse
of water with no escape. Various shades of green carpeted Pine Hills
gently incline towards the sky. They head southeast towards the Shelburne
Bank on the Wexford shore. They know the way; they have made this
journey many, many times before. Hugging the shore past the little hamlet
of Nook they make their way for the point of the castle. As they round the
point the estuary opens up. The isthmus of Passage East pushes into the
glistening water like a South Sea atoll with its palm trees waving to
passing ships.
Across the river the fishing village of Ballyhack appears to hide in
reverence to the grandeur of its neighbour. “Don’t look at me”, it seems to
say. The sun has different ideas and refuses to allow Ballyhack wallow in
its coyness. Every so often the golden orb bathes the little place in holey
light, lifting it above every village on the river. The river widens here,
carrying on to Arthurstown and Duncannon with its fort on her left bank.
Across on the Waterford side Woodstown beach appears like an amber
ribbon sprinkled with diamonds that some angel had carelessly dropped.
On it races to Short Head, Fournaught and Craden Head with its smugglers
cave and steps.
The estuary here gets wider and the sisters rake their fingers along the
short tempered cliffs and treacherous rocks of Broom Hill on the Wexford
bank , stirring them into an angry response of snapping waves and eddying
froth as if they are saying leave me alone, go on about your business. On
down the shore the stark square of Loftis Hall where black clad nuns make
sure that there are no more appearances of the gambling devil. The Sisters
hurry past here not wishing to tarry.
On to the beacon of the soul saving Hook Lighthouse, they twist around to
observe the jewel that is Dunmore East. Then delivering their news to the
mighty Atlantic, the Three Sisters pause, take a breath, then, slowly at first
but with gathering momentum begin their journey back, shaping the land
and those who live on their banks, as has been their labour of love for time