Bursting my Bubble

What a bubble! One full of water. The mystique of water always pervaded my being, after all didn’t I come into this world with the breaking of water. With such an entry I was wet behind the ears.
From early childhood water held my imagination. Growing up, the fairy fort in our land was always surrounded by water especially in the winter. When this water froze we had our very own skating rink. In our hobnailed boots we slided, our name for skating, back and forth and when the ice broke as it often did we laughed our heads off at the one who got stuck.
We knew our fort was protected by fairies and as we skated along our merry way we firmly believed the fairies were watching us, if they were, we were going to be their friends, join them in their games and teach them a few of ours. The goblins, the mermaids, the leprechauns with myriads of others were bound to have many eerie stories and games and maybe with their help we too could find the crock of gold at the end of the rainbow!
Water, how I loved it .My Dad had a boat on the river Suck and to us children it was our river, it was not a tributary of the river Shannon, the Shannon was a tributary of our river Suck. My Dad made the boat, to us it was our yacht. We cruised down the river with no life jackets, no worries, our Dad as carefree as his children. We sang to our hearts content as our boat moved on leaving behind her all kinds of ripples, once again feeding the imagination. My Mother watched from the shore with her four toddlers probably scared out of her wits.
As we rowed our merry way the bull rushes seemed to sway and dance to our singing. The moor hens or water hens as we called them seemed to be oblivious to our intrusion of their space. The wild ducks ducked and fished before our very eyes and the kingfisher took our breath away as our Dad named each species, told us about their way of life, the food they ate, insects, water spiders, plants et cetera, exciting our minds even further as we watched in anticipation for the next surprise.
The fascination with water, the river and its life was magic to my young mind. The myriads of fish that was in the river gave me and my siblings food for thought. How blessed we were to have enquiring minds and blessed too with parents that sowed the seeds of questioning within us. Many evenings when it was the fishing season I accompanied my brothers on their fishing trips. My Mother boiled oats and held back some dough from the unbaked bread to feed the fish. These ingredients were thrown into the area of the river we called the grain hole. Every evening the fish were waiting in their shoals for their treat. Pike, Perch, Roach, and other types of fish took the bait.
With our homemade fishing rods we sat until the sun went down beside the fire, lit at the rivers’ edge, to keep the midges at bay while we listened to the ebb and flow of the river. The sound was accompanied with the most amazing orchestra of bird song. I was walking on air! What glorious and wonderful days. Seventy plus years on, the memories, the mystique, are as strong as ever as I become a child once again. I surely did walk on water.