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s t   c o l m a n ' s   c h u r c h

b y   A n d r e w   L o v a t t

[ Cobh - 27.06.02 ] notes:

The moment we crested the hill over into Cobh we saw the tallest and most magnificently heaven-bound church spire, St Colmans, beckoning to us to stop and ponder. And so we did, parking under the high wall and stone stairs. Climbing up in awe at the size and celestial grandeur of this remarkable testament to "something other". A most beautiful edifice of faith and hope, rising so pointedly skyward. Awe and unbelief our companions.

Inside, the proportions so arched and voluminous. Denying usual scale. We find our way around the crafted carved details and see the cherubim scowling down upon us from the tallest of ceilings, itself made of perfect interlocking wood. And Sarah seated on a pew near the front, her head bent discreetly in some secret prayer or communion. A special quiet moment.

Coming out the huge wooden doors, she grabs my arm and tells me, "I thanked my mother... for you." I smiled and we looked out across the Cobh Bay at the boats and the bars along the seafront. Time for lunch. We drive to the "front" and find The Titanic Bar sticking out to sea. Inside the televisions are engaged with the latest football match and all eyes are on them. We sit and drink Jack Daniels and discuss the personas and souls of people around us. How it is that despite the weights and stresses of this life, somehow between the cracks we can see the sparkle of eye or the holy betrayal of a smile. Inside the unholy game of acted-out life, somewhere there is real spirit.

And how it is that there are many currents and influences in life, leading us to our fates and destinies. Why we took a quick turn off the highway and headed for Cobh, just to see it after all these years. Bringing us to this place, an appointment with some soul or spirit of the day which wishes to touch us and show us what is and what is really not quite so important.

Outside, Sarah gestures up the steep hill to St Colman's and says "It looms over the town like a protector." And that was true, if anything that day had truth in it.


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