This morning as I walked, on a slant, down from the high cliff to the south of Moore Bay in Kilkee I was caught, twisting my neck, between two magnificent scenes to my left and right, not sure where to focus my attention. To my left stood the breathtaking view of the cliffs, waves crashing with gusto below and gulls ‘chancing their arm’ battling the wind currents in between. And to my right was a group of beautiful horses. Since I knew the cliffs, if not necessarily the waves, would be there tomorrow, I opted to stand with my back to that glorious view and instead, behold the horses enjoying the morning. A few stood with a noble stance, as if posing, manes blowing in the wind as they appeared to gaze out toward the cliffs; others contentedly nibbled their green breakfast of tall, wild grass; a couple enjoyed a lie-in; and one joyfully rolled on its back. I then noticed two handsome, brown horses suddenly trot toward each other from opposite sections of the field, ears alert with manes and tails flowing behind. As the two trotting horses approached each other, they slowed down with caution and abruptly stopped just a few feet apart. Bowing their heads they began to nonchalantly nibble the grass at their feet as though they were only near each other by coincidence. The display of indifference by the two brown horses did not fool their fellow grazers, gazers and loungers. The others all watched the interaction with great interest, which made me sure that some important horse ritual, or conversation, had just taken place!

Eoin's "heart rocks" at the threshold of Teach deBúrca.

As I walked on, I shook my head in amazement over my morning “dilemma” of having to decide whether to focus my attention on the impressive view of the cliffs or a gorgeous herd of horses interacting ‘naturally’ in an open field! It is moments like this that carry me through the inevitable moments of doubt about whether this whole cottage-in-the-bog-thing was a good idea. The dark moments of doubt usually come as I’m writing a check for a repairman and worrying myself over what this place might do to our budget, or they come most intensely and painfully, when I think of how far away my son is in Chicago and my daughter in L.A.. But then I have an interaction with one of the warm, friendly locals, or cast my eyes upon a magnificent view that takes my breath away, or watch my young son, robust and fearless in his wetsuit as he marches into the cold waves during his Nevsail Watersports Camp, or sit in my kitchen sipping tea by a cozy fire as the wind howls outside – and everything feels perfectly right for the moment.