The day begins in the Berkshires of Massachusetts overlooking Lake Pontoosuc, and from the flanks of Mount Greylock.
Cardboard box lunch on the beach:
Limp sandwiches, bruised apples, melted chocolate bars.
Fine grit lodged between our teeth at every bite,
Seagulls swooping in for the crusts.
A backdrop of frenzied whitecaps,
Larksong tossed skyward,
And a ripe aroma
Of dead crab and fermenting seaweed
Wafted our way.
Tugging at our shirts,
Slapping strands of hair against our cheeks,
Raising goose bumps on our legs,
Hurling sand in our eyes,
Encrusting us with a film of sea salt,
Wind—ever present picnic friend.
Curtains of rain
Sweeping across the bay,
The first tell-tale spots on the slate.
Then all in a rush
Mini water bombs hurtling against the roof
Snare drum on the windowpane.
Sixty seconds later
Nothing but drip, drip, drip.
One of the first things that comes to mind when I think of Ireland is rain. It is after all what earns the country its distinctive reputation as a land of fifty shades of green. And there are nearly as many kinds of rain, from the “soft day” mizzle that gently coats you in a film of moisture, to the driving curtains of water that sweep across the landscape and drench you in seconds. While in November a wet day can be an unrelenting downpour, in July a cloudburst often lasts less than a minute. As the familiar saying in Ireland goes, If you don’t like the weather, wait five minutes.