simoncostello

Simon Costello — Culver City, Los Angeles

Messages spelt out across the front lawn are a common sight in Los Angeles. “Happy Birthday Kyle”, “Happy Mother’s Day” and other such messages are typical. Under the Safer at Home Order, the name for the lockdown here, people are walking around their neighborhoods more than they might have done in the past. One of our neighbors has taken to putting up new messages on his lawn each day. He has a limited number of letters, but he has done an admirable job in providing new and often uplifting messages. Some are cryptic, such as “Love Remi” – turns out that Remi is the name of the family’s new puppy. It is a welcome gesture that provides some cheer and amusement.

– / — / — / — / — / — / — / — / — / — / — / — / — / — / — / — / — / — / — / — / — / — / — / — / — / — / — / — / — / — / –

simonwilson

Simon Wilson — Ashford, Wicklow

Forty-five steps from my front door is a little bridge that takes me over a brook and into the world. Granite stones sit, one on top of the other, mossy mortar holding each in place.
It’s easy to cross this bridge without even knowing it exists, I have.

Every morning I walk these steps, with black coffee in my favourite chipped cup. Swinging my legs over the old wall, I watch the water flow, smoothing the stones as it slows and sparkles, picks up pace, and pools. When I started to stop here, seven weeks ago or so, bare branches hung from trees, cloistering the water’s course. Grey sky reflected in clear water.

Day by day, I wander the forty-five steps and dangle my feet, watching.
First, the Snowdrops sprout and salute. Then whitethorn begins to show its face, bringing with it bee and butterfly, who fouette and flutter through the field cut in two by the trickling tributary.

Bluebell trumpets tower over the water, like a guard of honour. Birds sing in chorus. When wild garlic begins to grow and the yellowing gorse mimics the sun, the scent of black coffee in my favourite chipped cup is subsumed.

Sound and sight and scent supreme.

Twenty years of tripping to some other place, without taking the time to travel the forty-five steps from my front door.

– / — / — / — / — / — / — / — / — / — / — / — / — / — / — / — / — / — / — / — / — / — / — / — / — / — / — / — / — / — / –

JackConnolly

Jack Connolly — The Rapids, Galway

The first thing I did when I moved to Galway, was to explore the trail at the end of the road. This sandy track in the grass led to the narrow, rocky mouth of Rusheen Bay; The Rapids. I found solace in this place as a quiet location to walk alone and gather my thoughts during the Winter.

During the lock-in of 2020, The Rapids came to my rescue again. Blackrock was closed by the council along with all the parks, and I was starved of nature. I had never seen the rapids as a swimming spot before, because the water flows hard in and out with the tides. But the call of the water pushed me to see this spot in a new light. At just the right time, as the tides change, the rapids calm down and welcome me into the cold embrace of the sea.

The Rapids put me back in touch with the sea and timing my swims there put me in touch with the moon and the tides. In this time while we were staying inside more and more, the ritual of checking the tide and swimming here kept me connected to nature.

– / — / — / — / — / — / — / — / — / — / — / — / — / — / — / — / — / — / — / — / — / — / — / — / — / — / — / — / — / — / –

sarahMoloney

Sarah Moloney — James St., Dublin

It’s hot. We are zig-zagging roads and streets across the neighbourhood – getting the most out of our walk within a 2km invisible boundary. The canal water smells warm and stale. A torn twister wrapper swims by. Flies are attacking us for invading their air-space.

We cross the road at the bridge. Two boys cycle past us. One of them performs a wheelie for his new found audience. We follow the tracks around the back of James’. Bodies are hiding in the long grass, grilling in the sun. It’s the same, but quieter.

And now we are out on the main road in front of the hospital. Here, on this road I’ve walked one hundred times before, I stop to look at rows of almost blank billboards. The posters are disappearing one by one. No one can buy anything so there is nothing to sell. The blank ones catch my attention. They are announcing, loudly: the past is gone, nothing will be the same.

– / — / — / — / — / — / — / — / — / — / — / — / — / — / — / — / — / — / — / — / — / — / — / — / — / — / — / — / — / — / –

Maedhbh Green — IJburg, Amsterdam

I live on the outskirts of Amsterdam, a residential area by a lake. It’s not quite as shocking a difference as the city centre, where the wide streets and narrow canals that are normally densely packed with tourists have been left totally deserted. Where I live, it’s actually busier than usual because everyone is stuck at home. What I find most interesting is going for a walk around midday. The neighbourhood is usually pretty much deserted, with just children in the school playground next to my house. Instead, there are now people everywhere, taking a lunch time break for some fresh air. I love seeing the amount of children and teenagers doing things with their parents. I’ve seen 12 year old boys running with their mothers, I’ve seen fathers teaching their 8 year old daughters how to skateboard and I’ve seen mothers and daughters rollerblading together, holding hands. It keeps bringing my mind to what it would be like if I was going through this as a child or a teenager. I don’t think I’d be jogging with my parents, because that’s not exactly their style. But it’s fun to think of what we might have done together.

– / — / — / — / — / — / — / — / — / — / — / — / — / — / — / — / — / — / — / — / — / — / — / — / — / — / — / — / — / — / –

– / — / — / — / — / — / — / — / — / — / — / — / — / — / — / — / — / — / — / — / — / — / — / — / — / — / — / — / — / — / –

Illustration: Sarah Moloney
Website: www.sarahmoloney.com
Instagram: @sarahmoloneydesign