This is footage from Inis Mór, the largest of the three Aran Islands in Galway Bay, on the west coast of Ireland. It's a wild place, rough and windy. The land is crisscrossed by stone walls, protecting the fields from the wind. About 4 mins into this video, you see Dún Aonghasa, a prehistoric hill fort, one of several Bronze Age sites on the island. But this is not a history blog, so for anyone interested, go here.
The poem is spoken by Mike Scott of the Waterboys. He wrote it in the early 1980s when the band was living in An Spidéal, a small village on the Atlantic coast, overlooking the Aran Islands and the coast of county Clare. The village is famous for traditional music sessions.
I like to believe that the storm he is referring to at the beginning of his poem is the one we ran away from in October 1981 when we were staying on Inis Mór for a short while. I have very little memory of our time there other than that we walked a lot, were accompanied by all the island dogs, met very few people and smoked our very last joint sitting next to the fort looking out on the ocean. That day, we decided it was time to have a child, one of several, so we imagined.
Back at the harbour village of Cill Rónáin, the fishermen had started to pull in their boats and gear, windows and sheds were secured and by dinner time, the storm warnings were all around us. Early the next morning we got the last boat back to the mainland.
This was the time when I started to think of myself as becoming an adult.