Dublin is beautifully unique in that you are never too far from the coast. Last Sunday was my birthday so I swam at Vico Bathing Place for the first time. I broke the 5 km Lockdown rule. Ah well! I persuaded a gentleman to come with me. He was a complete stranger and competitive runner back in the day. A 3rd generation Dubliner. I shared the Louis Zamperini story with him. Louis was an Olympic runner and airman during World War II. He crashed into the Pacific and was listed as dead. He spent 47 days adrift in a life raft before being captured by the Japanese. He endured a harsh and cruel imprisonment but later forgave his tormentor. My new friend had never heard of him or Vico Baths even though he’d lived in Dublin all his life. I piqued his curiosity!
One of the things I most enjoy about being back in Ireland is my spontaneous convos on the go — I talk to anyone everywhere. Is it the gift of the gab or just my natural evangelistic/campaigner personality? My friends do wonder how I make all the connections. I had a great day! I swam in a glorious place. My friend met lovely female swimmers. More importantly he pulled off my wet-suit footsies post-swim. I can’t do it in my own strength and with cold hands.
The magic of Vico Baths aka Hawk Cliff showed up when three dolphins popped up out of nowhere close to me. It was such a lovely surprise. I celebrated it with a Prossecco and Terry’s orange in Dalkey Village. Not so healthy but Ah well!
I stayed IN the 12 degrees Celsius sea for 20 minutes in honor of my mother who gave birth to me on this day. I felt like I was in another world. Our Irish coastline is beautiful. It needs protecting. The health of our oceans is vital and so is the health and well being of the Irish wellness warriors attracted to them for the craic and community.
“God is bedrock under my feet, the castle in which I live, my rescuing knight.” Psalm 18:2
This summer I took the Dart out to Dalkey. It’s a lovely fashionable suburb to the south of Dublin. The name Dalkey derives from Delginis (Irish) and Dalk-Ei (Norse) meaning Thorn Island and it’s origins date back 6, 500 years to activity on Dalkey Island. In the early Christian period, St. Begnet’s Church on Castle Street was built. Later, the Church on Dalkey Island was constructed. In the Viking period, there was a thriving slave trade on Dalkey Island. During Medieval times, Dalkey acted as the port for Dublin, as large ships could anchor in the deep waters of Dalkey Sound. It was at this time that seven castles were built, mainly for safe storage. During the 16th century, Dublin port was developed and Dalkey’s importance declined.
Ireland is known as a land of saints and scholars so I’ll align blog 163 with psalm 16:3;
“As for the saints in the land, they are the excellent ones, in whom is all my delight.”
Patrick is the best remembered Christian missionary to Ireland. His name has come to represent the many unknown clerics who worked in Ireland before and after him. The influence of the Irish missionaries, carriers of classical learning and disseminators of theological and philosophical thought cannot be overemphasized. Vast collections of Irish manuscripts are to be found in all the great libraries across Europe. I brought a theologian friend to see the amazing Book of Kells at Trinity University recently. He wasn’t disappointed.
This Church below is the most ancient ecclesiastical site in Ireland. St. Patrick built the first Christian Church in this land right here in 432 A.D. This is the cradle of Irish Christianity. The Church has continued to worship God through the centuries, holding fast to the Faith which Patrick taught.
Below is a picture of friends and visitors from America outside St. Patrick’s first Church in Saul County Down;
This prayer was on a wall inside the Church:
Go forth, traveller, in the Name which is above every name: Be of good courage: Hold fast that which is good. Repay to no man evil for evil; Strengthen the faint-hearted: Support the weak; Help the afflicted: Honour all men: Love and serve the Lord, rejoicing in the power of the Holy Spirit.