It was darn near impossible to find and rather strange to comprehend once we did find it, but I wouldn’t trade the short amount of time we spent at/on/in The Burren in County Clare, Ireland in July of 2016 for just about anything.
Admittedly, I’m looking back on this time and this place with rose-tinted glasses now, with some 8 months having passed, as our week in Ireland was anything but perfect (as I documented in this post on my own site shortly after we returned home from the U.K. last summer). In a way, the strange, twisting, complicated and harrowing journey to get to The Burren was a microcosm of the trip as a whole: stunning but stunted.
Unlike most of how you’d typically picture Ireland — green, lush, rocky cliffs, merry in spirit — the Burren is jagged, unforgiving, harsh and desolate. It stands in stark contrast to Ireland’s famous Emerald Isle beauty and in doing so, really captured my contrarian heart. Plus, it was simply gorgeous to be there, alone with my family, as if on the moon or some faraway planet where confirmation of a distant life form was still pending.
Watching my daughter frolic, yes, genuinely frolic along the Burren’s rocky meadow, over the limestone pavement that is the Burren, and around sprouting wildflowers is a memory I’ll cherish forever. Their carefree nature, set upon that mysterious and unique landscape, made for quite an outing as we progressed slowly and precariously towards the epic Cliffs of Moher.
Sometimes we take pictures of our vacations to remember the fun that was had. Other times, we take them in hopes of being able to look back with more fondness than the experience provided the first go ’round, with the distance necessary to take the deep calming breathes we weren’t afforded at the time.
That is what these photos of my girls in The Burren are to me; memories polished like stones hit by rainwater over many, many, many years — still rough around some of the edges but with enough shine to make holding them close more pleasant.