Cover Photo: Rooted To The Ground by Lauren Suval

Rooted To The Ground

  I. i vomited in the hotel bathroom; drank the pot of tea way too quickly; plus there was the jet lag. was impatiently waiting for my period. shuddered at the 'what if i'm pregnant' thought. shoved that thought right out of there.

 my body dragged through the streets of dublin with family who were somehow functioning better than me on zero hours of sleep and a time zone change. but maybe they just hid it better. i felt far. i thought of of my boyfriend and what he’s doing on new york time. i washed my face in the pub's restroom to get rid of my red eyes.


my dad and i spot a busker on the cobblestone street in the temple bar district. he sang something i didn’t know, and then he sang that overplayed jeff buckley tune, ‘hallelujah.’ but still. in that moment, i was moved. he just wanted to sing for people on the street. he just wanted to impart what he was feeling, with the hope that others can embrace his vulnerability.

II. i got my period. so that was settled. was in transition again, going on a train to the countryside, to killarney. saw a young man approach a young woman near our platform. they hugged without saying a word. they kissed. passionately. they still didn't speak. i thought to myself that irrational anxiety doesn’t matter. this is what matters. love.

III. the tour bus let us off by the bay in waterville. mountains appeared like shadows in the distance. rocks lined the  perimeter. i was beaming. positively beaming because i love being near water. i like how the water flows so effortlessly. which is not who i am. i’m more of a sensitive type. but, the water grounds me. inspires resilience.

IV. we were let off on top of a mountain. we were driving around the ring of kerry peninsula. saw breathtaking visions of irish landscape and coast. on top of the mountain, i looked out. at the luscious green and the spotted specks of blue. islands. grateful for being there. grateful for life in general. proud of myself for moving forward in ways i have.

V.  the streets of galway featured the annual arts festival. musicians and artists were out to shine, though music was everywhere in ireland. bringing people together. illuminating universal truths. on the very last night, my dad and i stumbled across a busking trio. an older man with a kind face was playing an irish folk song and two young girls (maybe his daughters?) were singing along. fiddle and tin whistle. a little girl (perhaps a couple of years old)  stood in the middle of the circle. absorbing the melodies. i smiled because i heard that i used to do that kind of stuff in public when i was younger. 

all that sweetness kept me rooted to the ground.

Lauren Suval studied print journalism and psychology at Hofstra University, and she is a writer based in New York. Her work has been featured on Psych Central, Thought Catalog, Catapult Community, and other online publications. Lauren's e-book “Coping With Life’s Clutter” and her latest book, “The Art Of Nostalgia,” a collection of personal essays, can both be found on Amazon. She loves to be followed on Twitter @LaurenSuval and on Facebook @LaurenSuvalWriting.