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Let the rushing water flow past!

Castle Bridge in Buncrana, County Donegal is impressive.  It has stood crossing the Crana River near its mouth for 300 years this year.  Brigid Rose Higgins, local Inishowen artist, has captured the solid strength and serene beauty of the bridge in her recent acrylic painting.  It is really beautiful.

The Buncrana Castle Bridge has an interesting design.  There are six arches spanning the river.  When you walk across the bridge you can stop and restfully gaze at the waters of the Swilly just past the mouth of the Crana River.  There are small alcoves built into the wall of the bridge at each of its piers.  When the sun shines in Donegal, the bridge and surrounding Swan park are full of visitors.

You might not be aware of this but when John Newton and his shipmates on The Greyhound found a haven in Lough Swilly on 8 April 1748 after a devastating Atlantic storm, he saw his survival as divine intervention, the answer to prayer. The refuge of the Swilly and Buncrana area laid a spiritual foundation for a reformed life. In 1764 he became a Church of England clergyman and subsequently, as curate at Olney in Buckinghamshire, he was an anti-slavery activist and is famous for writing “Amazing Grace”.

Water is a powerful force and it is incredible that this structure has withstood 300 years of water flowing past.  While pondering the painting this week, I marvelled at the graceful beauty as well as the solid strength of this bridge.  A river has a ceaseless flow of water, sometimes the current is a trickle and at other times it is a deluge.  Just like a river, life seems to be a steady current of continual events.  Sometimes my life is smooth and steady and other times everything is swirling, cascading, treacherously rushing along like a flood, threatening to wreak havoc in its path.

That is what this past few weeks has been like.  Then I saw this image of the bridge.  Solid and steady, the raging waters have chipped away here and there at the masonry of the piers, but the bridge is still secure and strong.  Repairs have been needed from time to time, but what a grand example of withstanding the tests of time.

My own structural repairs are not always obvious to others, but I am discovering how to let the raging torrent of stressful experiences flow past me as I learn to be strong as the bridge.

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Announcing that I have finished a book with the working title of “The Fairy Fort.” I am currently pitching it to publishers. Keep checking back to watch the progress of my newest novel.

Here is a quick glimpse of the story.

Sarah Doherty is an 18-year-old living in rural Ireland at the tail end of the Great War. Plagued by severe epilepsy, she is protected by her parents and lives a sheltered, secluded, lonely life. The Fae, local Irish fairies, interfere with her life. She falls forward a century in time through the local fairy fort of standing stones. She had a seizure in 1918 and woke up in 2020. The 21st century world includes life-saving prescriptions, physical comforts and the independence and freedom she seeks. The locals are welcoming and Andy Mclaughlin, a handsome young historian, is intriguing. She doesn’t want to return home.

Then a letter arrives from Boston divulging the story of Sarah and Andy’s lives that are deeply entwined in the previous century. They are not yet in love but as they seek to verify the letter through online resources, they feel a growing obligation to their unborn family and to each other. What would happen to their posterity living in Boston if they don’t return to 1918? Even if they do make it back, her parents can never know what happened to her or that would change everything.

This Young Adult time-travel romance explores the question: Do we have the freedom to make choices or is free will an elaborate illusion?

This is my third book. I love reading time travel romances. I am an advocate for epilepsy awareness because my 43-year-old son has intractable epilepsy. As a genealogist specializing in Irish research, I live part of the year in the village where the story is based. I wrote the book to help young adults understand that difficult situations can change your life. Sometimes miraculously.