Magic Moments: Dublin
Hi everyone and welcome to our Magic Moments Travel Series! Magic moments are small moments that celebrate the uniqueness of travel. They are moments that could normally be viewed as ordinary experiences until they are seen through a lens of newness, fascination, and enchantment. Moments that are, for whatever reason, worth remembering. Our Magic Moments Travel Series is an ode to those moments: a written account of those bits of time that make travel seem otherworldly and help us remember that there is good in the world, always. We hope you are finding magic moments of your own wherever you may be! Enjoy!
Magic Moment #1
I am standing at the top of one of the oldest cathedrals in Dublin. Our tour guide, Daris, has just lead us up a series of stone steps and through a doorway so small I'm sure it was originally built for goblins. We walk directly into a white ray of sunlight and onto the edge of a rooftop.
"You can see for miles around!" he grins and points out all the major landmarks in the vicinity. "That over there is the Guinness Storehouse! That is the River Liffey! And that," he moves his finger, "is St. Patrick's. Not that you need to know about them!" He shudders visibly as a joke at the longtime rivalry between his church and St. Patricks. But I barely hear him. I'm looking at my feet, pale white against the gray roof tiles, and then back down to the ground which seems further away with each passing minute. My head spins and I try to steady my shaking fingers. I am not a fan of heights.
Daris sees my face and waves me over to stand closer to the safety of one of the goblin doors. "This way Miss! This way! Don't want you passing out on me! This way!" I stand beside him and he mockingly whispers, "Not to worry. Not to worry at all Miss! I've only ever had two people who've fallen off before!" I manage to fake a laugh. "Only joking of course there!" he continues, "It was just the one!" I hear the echoes of laughter from the rest of our group behind my shoulders. I think the Irish sense of humor is going to kill me. He talks only a few moments more and then ushers us through the other goblin doorway and up another series of stone steps. I shudder as we continue our ascent, up and up and up another stone staircase, this one filled with holes in certain places which does nothing to ease my fears.
Luckily for me, we don't step outside and onto another rooftop. Instead, I find myself inside a small room adorned with a series of ropes, pulleys, and an old clock on the wall that ticks. The belfry. Daris explains the mechanical workings of the bells, and shows us the unique system before turning to the three of us (it was a small tour group.)
"Now of course I can't let you actually ring the bells, can I? What government in their right mind would ever let you legally ring the bells on one of their oldest churches? The sound would drive you mad!" We all nod in response and agree. Clearly, we are all from the United States and don't understand that he's always messing with us. He finishes off, "So, who wants to be the first to ring one then?" We laugh on cue. A grandfather goes first, taking a picture of him and his granddaughter's Elsa doll ringing the bell together. Then it's my turn.
Daris hands me a rope. "Alright there Miss, now take this one and pull as hard as you can. Mind you don't hit the ceiling!" I can never tell if he's joking or not. I wrap my hands around the rope and pull as hard as I can, feeling the bell reverberate through the rope as its chime rings clearly out of the city of Dublin. ding...ding....ding...And I think to myself, "How did I get here? Why did I brave a rooftop I was afraid of just to find out what was past it? There was no guarantee of bell-ringing, no guarantee I'd make it safely past the rooftop or even into Ireland at all, and yet, I'm here. I'm here." I'm standing in the belfry of one of the oldest cathedrals in Dublin and I can feel the rope and chiming of the bell in the palms of my hands and I imagine it dancing over the rooftops. A wave of music, light, sound, and color. I'm here. ding. I'm here. ding. I'm here.
Magic Moment #2
I turned the corner expecting to see more blue-gray. The whole day had been blue-gray from the time the rain started in the early morning to when we were walking around late in the afternoon. Don't get me wrong, it was very pretty, but it was pretty in that unique way Ireland has of being pretty, where the whole city is shrouded in a cloak of mist to ward off any sunlight threatening to peek through. So I was markedly surprised when turning the corner revealed something slightly different than that: a patch of sun sparkling through the small bits of rain. It was white sunlight, not yellow, and though it was squished between two bits of gray cloud, it illuminated the droplets of rain on trees so that the whole courtyard we were standing near looked as if it'd been dipped in diamonds.
"It's rainbow weather!" I remarked to Chris, still dazzled by the effect of the rain falling through white rays of sun. Droplets of white illuminated the blades of grass near our feet. "Let's look for one!" And I'd no sooner mouthed the words than a rainbow appeared in the sky just before us, stretching its arms from one building edge to another. "Look!" I pointed at it and a second rainbow materialized just above the first. There was nothing to do but watch it. So we stood there, in complete awe, as the rainbow sparkled in the sky, the rain fell through white sunlight, and the dark clouds hovered above it all. And I don't quite think you can call that anything other than magic.
What magic things have happened in your lives this week?