Those familiar sounds of rattling prams sometimes even guided by a “hic” too, coming down the road is still in my ear and so is the almost penetrating sizzling of tyres of the bicycles on wet tarmacan hurrying down the hill, with suddenly a hold on at the corner, shrilling of brakes and off they go again. Or the high pitched voices of the small children comfortable handling their- brought with- them bikes. Sometimes they are even accompanied by a lucky doll or a toy animal.

Children present

And they enjoy themselves to go freewheeling wherever they prefer to go. Or that couple, sitting at their ease on a flattened stonewall, taking in the sun, the wind, the atmosphere in her wholesomeness. No thoughts or worries, just be.

time for reflectionTime for reflection

At mid-day there are the families coming, each member having their bathing towel rolled up under the armpit, excited for what might be going to happen soon, asking for the direction to the beach.

Then there is a gap while the afternoon is enrolling herself in a leisurely way. The sun is warming up the asphalt and everywhere there are spots you better not put down your feet on.

wee napWee nap

After some time the first “home comers” are returning, satisfied about the way they have been treated by nature and proud about themselves that they really ventured what they wanted to do. And now is the moment, they seem to think, one deserves a cupán tae (cup of tea).

at the end of dayAt the end of day

All these memories and reflections of past summer can make one feel somewhat uneven or unbalanced and perhaps a bit melancholic as well. It was so nice to meet and have all those families around. Sometimes coming from nearby or from far away. It was lovely too hearing their story of having a great and casual holiday.

on the look outOn the look out

Well, time to look ahead now because it is only shortly before school will open her door again. And with a new population for the biggest part, I presume. Families on the mainland as well as the families here on Inis Meáin, which are giving a welcome to the youngsters for the coming year will be faced with a new challenge. But I am sure the mná an Tí (the hostesses) are eagerly on the look out for looking after “their children” for the year to come. Just as she does…

just as she doesJust as she does

Slán go fóill,

Elisabeth from Inis Meáin