Letter to my little Sister

July 30th, 2073

Dear Naty,

Coming back to Ireland feels awkward. I arrived in Dublin yesterday and was hoping to find something of myself here, but I am not sure that will happen. I went to my old neighbourhood. I guess it is a very human thing, just to go back to looking for yourself. I was trying to remember the years I lived here, but it is difficult to relate to what I am seeing today. It is not just that life has changed; I just can not find the places I used to visit.

I came to Strand Road, the road close my home. I remember walking out of my house and across the beach. When the tide was out, I could probably walk a kilometre before reaching the ocean. That empty beach was beautiful. Now, that sounds more like a good image from a fairy tale. I can no longer see the sea. There is no coast.

Léon and I moved to this area when we were dating. We hoped to return after all these years and walk through the same places we used to visit. I just wanted to lie down on the sand, maybe take a nap like we used to do, but I think that won’t be possible. I knew that someone needed to take action due to the rising ocean levels, but I never guessed that I would find a forest instead of the sea coast.

A plantation, called Na Foraoisí after the Irish for forests, suddenly hit me. Trees to hold back sea water is not what you expect to find. I can barely hear the seagulls. I remember loving them as much as hating them. I can’t even see the iconic Poolbeg Stacks. I can no longer smell the sea. I just wanted to lie down on the sand again and sunbathe like before. That will definitely not be possible between all these plants. I can barely see the sky from here. I suppose time changes everything, but it is not easy to assimilate.

Do not misunderstand. This is a wonderful achievement. I can’t imagine all the effort put into creating an artificial forest to hold the water. I cannot imagine all the effort it took for the trees to grow so tall. Yes, this forest has a magical spirit. I can almost feel the fairies are close. All those little doors attached to the trees give the place a very Irish touch. I can practically feel the fairies coming to visit me. Maybe this is just a metaphor for something: the vast sand becomes life. I do not know. I like this place, but it is not what I was expecting. I definitely need to have a think about it.

This is all lovely, yes, but it is definitely not the place I use to live near, and I am not sure I should have come here.

Hoping to hear from you soon,