Walking the streets of Howth now, I can smell wet soil and rotting leaves. Rainwater in the canals stream past me. So much water has streamed past me. A tiny silver-haired lady is walking in front with small effortful steps. An umbrella in one hand, a half-empty shopping bag in the other. I slow down to stay behind her. We walk like this all the way to the Harbour Road, listening to our own footsteps, holding tight to ourselves. We pass by old stone houses painted terracota, mint and salmon. There is no lament in our steps for the futures past. Seagulls circle above us, above the boats and the lighthouse. In the distance, a cross and an anchor rise against the sky making a fair wish:
Christ of the sea, Christ of the fish, May we be gathered in the nets of God.