We waited for the tide to lower
before driving out to Omey Island
using the stretch across the sand
we saw bright yellow traffic signs that indicated
the highest route.
We were told, "When the tide is in, there are
places where the water is deep enough to cover a car."
When we got to the Island
"St Feichin," was on our lips.
as we darted around where a team of archaeologists
once arrived in search of hidden history.
We found a Holy Well situated by the western edge,
which once healed the sick
and an ancient church where vast stones were neatly stacked.
Silently, we stood marking our respect for a monastic burial ground
where an old rusty sign read:
"One of the few known burial spots in Ireland
where a woman was buried on monastic grounds."
We sat and thought of the women dead and gone
and the women that would go on to die.
We thought of our sins being washed away like the tide
like the gentle rising and falling egged on by the moon.
We thought of St Feichin who once stood
on sand dunes listening to the voice of his God,
listening to the chants of monks,
lifting up their hands to spread the gospel
over long stretch of sand and onto mainland.
When it was dark we packed inside the car
and headed back from our pilgrimage.
The headlights caught hold of signs
as we listened to the droning sound of something
out in the white covering fog that made it difficult to see.
It was water, we thought as we accelerated not wanting tide
to wash us all away.
We held our breathe, remembering the grinning toothless man
who told us, "Remember not to leave it too late, many a car and man
has been lost to sea."
A large yellow sign read, "Highest point."
as we heard the scrapping of the water against the car
the pounding sound beating against the chest,
"We are not going to make it out alive!"
We passed a few more signs and then
the sound slowly went away.
The fog faded, opening up a view of the mainland.
We drove past Claddaghduff and passed petrol stations,
the feel of road beneath us, no more sand,
no more water swirling all around us.
No more washing with the water that once healed
and spread its way across the bay from Omey Island.