The Seals

Written by Monk Gibbon 1935 Published by Allen Figgis & Co. Ltd, 1970

I loved so many things about this book. First, it smelled like Irish rain. Or so I liked to imagine. I found it in a charity shop in Galway, Ireland in 2017 while on a month long stay with my husband, 18 month old son while pregnant with our daughter. The book opens with a span of scenery into a north western coast line of Irish life in the 1930’s. Then heading into what one man encountered along the way on his journey. How people lived. How and what they hunted, seals. Which broke my heart. But it was a livelihood and out of necessity then. I simply loved getting such a simple but lush, throw back but vivid look at a random slice of real Irish life. And with out extra and added flowery talk of how magical the place is. Because it’s just magical as it really is. No added flowery talk needed.

I really enjoyed using this book as my starting off point for my pile of 20 odd books I’ve had in my home library going on 20 years thinking I could read them all in a year😂 I am the slowest reader that I have ever known. I did not finish out the year reading all 20 though. Not even half.

To end this segment, here is a page capture of one of the more compelling ways the author observes his surrounding of sea life and seal hunting and his thoughts around it. At the time of reading this I was only just realizing I have postpartum still and was at a deep loss of what to do about it. I was stunted all the time from talking to anyone about it. Reading those few sentences kind of pulled me back into an awakening I needed in order to feel something again.