Europe Reflections Part II: Murisk, Ireland

Aside from the subtle sway of the grass and distant slow movements of the sheep and cows that gnaw on it, stillness surrounds us. We here a trickle of water as we look out over a small body of water. There’s a grass hill where the animals graze. I’ve never felt so at peace. I’m doing everything in my power to take in this scenery and stamp it in my memory. I never want to forget the stillness of this moment. My hand rests on my round belly. My head rests on his shoulder and tears steam slowly down my cheeks.

I had a panic attack a few minutes earlier. My anxiety levels had been climbing as we got further into our month in Europe. Walking around Westport – a little town nearby with shops, and pubs and restaurants – I kept feeling like everyone was staring at me. As my pregnant belly grows, I’d become more and more insecure about being the center of attention all of the time. We got back to the Airbnb and I lost it. Sobbing, hyperventilating, and no idea of why these emotions were coming out. The hormonal shifts of pregnancy were a tough thing for me to tolerate. 

He recommended we go for a walk. I left my phone behind, to unplug, clear my head. When we step outside, a look to the left shows Crough Patrick in the distance. We take a right, toward the water. We pass more sheep, more countryside, farmland, tractors, beautiful estates. Grass, grass, grass. Wildflowers. I picked a few flowers and pressed them between the pages of the many books I purchased a few days earlier at a bookshop in Galway.  Today, one of those flowers rests on my bed side table, to promote that stillness, that subtlety, that peace.  

We stopped walking once we reached the water. Sunlight reflects off the green grass, pastel shades fill the sky. So many colors, so many feelings at once. I hug him and we’re just still. Standing there, taking the scenery in, letting the anxiety out. For a brief moment, I wished I had my phone, to snap a photo. I decided to try to take in as much of that scenery as I could, in the hopes that I would never forget it. I hoped I could remember this feeling when I went into labor in three months. I wanted to go to this happy place when those contraction pains hit me. 

Change was on the horizon. I clawed my way out of that anxiety attack, and ended up here, taking in one of the most beautiful scenes I’ve witnessed in my life, shedding actual tears brought on by that beauty. Those really low places can lead you into a contrary place of stillness. Trust those low moments, stop resisting, and surrender; that stillness will find you if you let it. 

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