His lips opened up, a little pink from the autumnal chill; my eyes met his – a glimmer through the drizzle of the afternoon. A passerby, a man I’d never seen before and would never see again, yet one that looked at me as if I were worthy.
That’s when I knew I’d like Dublin.
A city with sunsets like a child would paint them – yellows, oranges, and pastel pinks splattered across the sky. A city that soaks your shoes and reddens your nose but one that wraps its arms around you and holds you tight, makes you feel worth it. One that hands you burning plates that overflow with foods you’d never be able to name. Plate after plate, bowl after bowl until your stomach smiles. Every cobbled street stained with its own puddles of Guinness, dusted with its own powder of Irish pride. Every mug of coffee fits, as if the handle was moulded for your hand and nobody else’s. Music echoes around corners, laughs sound from every sidewalk.
“Pick a word to describe Dublin,” Mum said.
“Vibrant,” I answered without much thought.
But it is so much more.
There is something magical about Dublin. Something vibrant, yes. But something electric also, something that makes your tongue tingle, draws goose bumps up and down your arms even though your coat is zipped up tight. Something laidback but something ambitious. A city that sprints from stillness but, if you blink, you won’t miss it. It’ll wait for you.
A magnetic city – it could be positive and you could be negative, or it negative and you positive but, either way, you are drawn together. There is a pull, an attraction. Your fingers find each other, your head fits into the city’s chest. Like a puzzle piece you didn’t know you were missing. One you didn’t know needed to be found.
I found it.
Dublin, I’ll be back.