Today we drove from Belfast to Ballycastle to the Corrymeela community. Corrymeela is a small community committed to community, simplicity, and reconciliation. They have a retreat center that the students and we are staying at. The community sits atop a cliff overlooking the sea.
First, though we spent the morning touring some separationist neighborhoods in Belfast; yet another reminder of the tensions that still exist. The Shankill Road area is a protestant neighborhood (Unionist) that has even had to divide between warring protestant groups. We also saw the “Peace” Wall that separates Catholic and Protestant neighborhoods. They had to make it even taller so that petrol bombs could not be flung over it.
As a stark contrast to these scenes, we drove north and got to the seaside around lunch. For the next 4 or 5 hours we explored the shore. It was windy but sunny day, and we walked along the beach from the retreat center into the town — playing in the surf and collecting rocks and shells.
Whitney carried the girls into the cold, cold water.
Molly didn’t want to get her pants wet — never mind that her shoes were still on.
Why do I love pictures of my girlies’ backs in front of the ocean?
Look! I was there, too.
The view of the Corrymeela retreat from the beach in town.
Dad, do you think you could handle 18 holes here? The beach is behind me.
The charming town of Ballycastle.
We found a fabulous ice cream shop in town, and then wandered back along the cliff to Corrymeela. Perfect afternoon.