|Mr and Mrs Lowney|
The recently late Philip Chevron of The Pogues wrote:
“The island it is silent now but ghosts still haunt the waves.”
His island in song was Ireland.
Ours is Long Beach Island on the Jersey Shore.
Autumn has quieted life here for now but ghosts, good and bad, remain.
The bad spirits of Sandy Storm still hover over the damaged homes and the empty lots just rid of ruins.
The good spirits of the departed, including Jody Bradshaw, lightly float the waves.
Jody, Honey Badger’s aunt, passed into that good night late last month.
She enjoyed her summers here but didn’t care for the chilled days near the surf like this past weekend.
But the island, cold and quiet, has its own magic this time of year.
The traffic lights on the main drag only blink yellow now. The upped speed limits make a quick jaunt quicker even as all around has slowed down.
And up the beach there is solitude.
Fishing the quiet morning surf allowed for some reflection on recent happenings.
The youngest brother, Paddy, is only after getting married a week ago. Staring out at the sea, the mind wandered back to moments of his big day.
Honey Badger was in tears, roaring laughing at me in our hotel room.
The funny tears were welling up in my eyes as well as I attempted each piece of the rental suit.
The trousers were too short at the ankle and too tight at the waist. The jacket barely covered arms’ end. The choking shirt ended up in the bin.
Unfitted I was.
But with a bit of creativity and some pre-planning for just this sort of a situation I was made uncomfortably presentable. Honey Badger looked stunning without a bother.
Down the lobby, the groom was dressed sharp but I am certain he had his own concerns more serious than an ill-fitting suit as the minutes ticked down.
Most of the clan was gathered including the Mayo crew from Boston and the mother’s sisters in from Ireland and England. Brilliant seeing them all again, looking happy and well.
In a simple old church not far from the Atlantic’s waves on the Rhode Island coast, we heard a tale of love as Paddy and his bride Lindy offered their vows to one another.
Sincere, raw emotion spoken aloud beautifully paused us in their moment and their story.
The harpist then played “The Star of the County Down” as Paddy and Lindy walked the aisle out to a new life together.
From my perch on the alter I winked a smile at Honey Badger a few pews away while miming the lyrics.
“From Bantry Bay up to Derry Quay
And from Galway to Dublin town
No maid I've seen like the sweet colleen”
Then in a sharp flash the long fishing pole bent hard and fast at the top snapping me back to the quiet island and the cold, peaceful waves.