poolbeg lighthouse 

“Lighthouses are endlessly suggestive signifiers of both human isolation and our ultimate connectedness to each other” – Virginia Woolf

Well, it finally happened. I had my first true bout of homesickness. It was bound to happen at some point; it’s only natural. Woolf’s quote resonated with me as this is kind of what my homesickness feels like – being ultimately connected to others, but still feeling oddly isolated.  Walking along the sea usually calms me down and it surely worked its magic on our walk to Poolbeg Lighthouse. By the end of it, the homesickness had subsided and my excitement about living in Dublin had been reinvigorated.  Ger and I had a 7-mile walk ahead of us when we started for Poolbeg on Saturday morning. About a quarter of the walk in, we were greeted with the bench pictured above. It was as unexpected as it was lovely: “The trail is beautiful, be still.” How often we forget the power that being still in nature’s beauty can have on our soul; it was a nice reminder to stop and take it all in.  After a pause, we resumed our walk and caught sight of wind-surfers who were going crazy in the sea, using the wind and the waves it provided for ultimate fun.  It takes a brave soul to enter the cold Irish Sea waters, but, do it, they did, wet suits in tow.Then, we rounded a corner and were surrounded by the sea on both sides. The lighthouse was in front of us and we were delighted to almost be there.  “Almost” being the key word as we had been victims of an optical illusion; we still had over a mile to walk along the South Wall before we reached it. #joysofdublinwalks.Before we reached the South Wall walkway entrance, we passed two things of interest: Mr. Hobb’s Coffee Van (this van has a permanent fixture on Google Maps…if we had euros with us, we would have purchased a cup o’ joe for the rest of the walk) and the entrance for the Half Moon Swimming & Water Polo Club founded in 1898. I was intrigued and upon “Googling” later, found that the Half Moon Swimming and Water Polo Club still hosts four open water sea swims during the summer months. I may just have to partake this summer (post wet suit purchase).And then, it finally happened. We reached the lighthouse! What a beauty. We got two surprises as well: a colorful mural on the wall leading to the lighthouse and plaques around the backside of the lighthouse on which a story unfolded. Now, plaque #1 and plaque #9 were missing, so we inevitably missed the beginning and the end of the story, but, it still made for a pleasant read. I didn’t take pictures of the plaques as some things are better left a surprise for future sightseers ;).Now, this has been my favorite Dublin walk so far and Ger and I are both better for it! The scenery that unfolded before us and the surprises along the way makes it superb.  I’ll walk the seven miles over-and-over to get back to Poolbeg Lighthouse. And, I would suggest to anyone that has the time to walk down the South Wall to do it. Sláinte!

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