We made it Biggie!
It’s been a year since I moved back to Ireland. So much has changed in such a short space of time! When I drove into Mayo first in the pitch black of night after a long journey back to Ireland from East Sussex, the loneliness of the journey ahead hit me.
I had moved home in the middle of a lockdown to a county I had no friends in, no financial support bar the money I had to get the business “sort of” set up. It was dark. Really dark. Pitch black describes it perfectly. And it was lashing. Cold and lashing but still. I can feel my heart racing, my mind full to the brim of potential outcomes, challenges, the possibility of losing everything. My pride, the little money I had left, the notions, the ideas I had built up over years that had become my armour, my identity, my driver, my everything. Driving my thoughts around bends, struggling to find the entrance to my new rented home in the back arse of somewhere! I had this sudden pang of losing my idealism to a journey less travelled.
Biggie’s eyes looking deep into my soul trying to figure out our next move. My eyes looking back at his, wet.
Immediately strategising my next move. I would not sleep that first night. The next day, anxious and un-slept I drove to Achill Island with my Dad to the beach him and my Mum first camped on when my Mum was sweet 16. It was windy and wet that day but bolstered by the stories of my parents past and the authentic magic of Achill I started to regroup. The anxiety began to settle into calm and the tiredness that creeped over my whole body decided on coffee and cake back in Westport before getting the bits in for a steak dinner.
My Dad left the next morning. Biggie and I stood in our new strange and exceedingly cold home yearning for warmth to comfort our shared and strange thoughts.
Beckon adventure Biggie said and it will come.
And so that’s what we did. We climbed mountains. So many mountains. Tops of peaks barely seen by others were our refuge. The vastness of the landscapes we trekked providing the safety valve we both needed. And there, at the top, in sometimes -8 degree temperatures I would un-lid Biggie’s breakfast and open my flask of tea with some of the deepest breaths I've ever taken. Alone but together in the most picturesque scenes of our life.
Rediscovering Ireland, discovering who I was in this new landscape, mind working overtime to catch up. Always this feeling of “trying to catch up”.
I had come home to make a difference. And to Mayo inspired as always by my mother.
Quickly the mountains and coastline of Mayo were becoming my play pin. I was feeling wishful and imaginative again. Exploring each and every part of her, delving into feelings of self acceptance, flaws and all! My breath being taken away each and every day by new findings, new strength.
Biggie and I lived in this way for 3 months. Some of the best months of my life. Our love grew, our boundaries imagined now imagined even more. We were somehow flying but the most rooted I have ever felt.
Home. The grittiness of Mayo had latched into me and I had latched into her. Becoming happier and happier with each day and calm. So calm. So attractively stable. Stable at last.
Growing up with digestive health issues had infiltrated my brain health to such an unimaginable level that the idea of stability always felt far reaching.
Can you relate to that? When your mind is so plagued by this feeling of neglect and shame.
And here now, sat in the TEACH, nourished to the bone. Dry eyes, clear mind, heart full, stinking of warm bread. Perfect.
We made it Biggie.
The first people I met were Sinéad and MJ of Gleann Buí Farm. I sought them out knowing they would be my people. I knew of their tiresome work and knee deep in my own work I reached out for their alliance and friendship. They were two of the first people in Ireland that bolstered me with encouragement and laughter. Sinéad and I like sisters in arms. MJ always so solid. So peaceful with the most persistent of fight in him. Us all fighting. Fighting the fucking system.
Will write again.
Gra Mór, Karen x