It was over 20 years ago. I had decided to take a
trip with an old friend to the west of Ireland.
It was a typical late summer’s day. It was
raining and windy, with bouts of sunshine trying
to burst through.
We wanted to go over to the Aran Islands from
Galway; this meant a short crossing on a ferry.
The sea was rough and we could hear and feel the
wind and waves, the rain stopping and starting as
we set out on the journey across the bay.
I have always loved boats, ever since my father
took me fishing as a young child. My instinct is
to stay out in the wind and breathe in the fresh
air, feel the spray and rain on my face.
I left my friend and weaved my way to the stern of
the ferry, I wanted to be outside.
Up ahead another woman was doing the same thing.
Her walk was lilting with the waves and what I
learned later was difficult post-operative hips
(and perhaps some whiskey too!).
She had sneaked out for the air and a cigarette!
I was immediately drawn to this wild looking woman
with grey long hair, a very colorful jumper and a
mischievous grin on her face.
I introduced myself and we began chatting. I
immediately loved her!
Mo was a true free spirit. She had up and left
her two x husbands and adult kids, her restaurant
business and she had sold her house. She bought a
camper van and was travelling around the
She went where she could find temporary cooking jobs
and then as her spirit guided her, moved on to new places.
Within 15 minutes she invited me to come with her
to Scotland and work as her galley slave on a
boat. I immediately said yes!
That night, in a pub on the Island, accompanied by
traditional Irish Music, stories and some great
whiskey, we planned the next few months.
It was as wonderful as it sounds. Mo taught me
how to make the best bread (fresh every day), how
to chop lettuce to the tiniest strips and how to
keep vegetable dressings crispy fresh when you
We had some of the funniest times;
balancing on the underside of a harbor wall with a
bucket and a stick as Mo yelled where the best
mussels were so I could knock them off and we’d
cook them for dinner!
We worked hard together and played even harder.
We told stories, sang, laughed and cried together.
Just a few months ago, I learned that Mo passed
away in the village that had become her home and
her community for the last few years of her life.
With all her joy and fun, she had an immense
sadness in her. I am glad she found a home and
peace throughout those years.
She was a true inspiration for me; a free spirit
with a deeply adventurous soul.
She taught me tofollow your instinct and go
where your heart leads you.
She showed me that life is full of fun, joy
and freedom, if you can only reach out and grab
I am blessed by her brief presence and lasting
resonance in my life.
Who has inspired you with tears of joy, laughter
When have you listened to your instinct and jumped
at a chance that will change your life?
Please leave a comment and tell your story!