Archive | February, 2015

Excerpt from Essay to be published in The Juniper Tree Project Book

13 Feb

Birthhouse in the fog

We leave on New Year’s Day and it has been pouring rain all day. The river is roaring and the fields are flooded. When we finally leave to drive, the rain has thankfully eased off. As we drive in the fog over the mountain I ask my brother to stop at the top of the pass which is about 10 miles from our current family home. I tell him I would like to photograph the old farmhouse that our parents lived in in 1975. I was born in the house 40 years ago this July by the light of one candle. My mother was alone and I was born nearly two months premature. There was no electricity and the house is truly in the middle of a bog in the middle of nowhere. The story of my birth is a favourite family story. My brother tells me there is no point in stopping because you can’t see the house in the fog. I tell him it is perfect and I want a photo anyway. I am driving by the house I was born in on New Year’s Day of the year I will turn 40 and I will take a photo of it even if I can’t see it. I have just uprooted my life in Berlin and returned to the country of my birth. The writer in me immediately sees the beauty of metaphor. I can’t see the house I was born in in the fog. I still need time for things to become clear now that I have moved back to Ireland. Maybe the next time we drive by the house it will be a sunny day and more things will be clearer in my life.