Glendalough, Ireland

Tucked away on the Emerald Isle is a place of haunted beauty: Glendalough.

It was especially striking to visit during the golden hour of the day, with the sun's rays magnificently jetting through the sky casting an angel-like aura around rock structures that were centuries old. There was something strangely calming about listening to the crunch of gravel under my boots, the occasional chirp of birds fluttering by, with the only other sound that of frosted breath escaping in tiny puffs from my lips.

Unlike visiting ruins in other European cities, visiting Glendalough seemed weightier, almost more appreciated. Being out in nature, so removed, wandering tombstones from centuries gone by, I felt overwhelmed with the brevity of life -- but in awe of it, as well. I imagined the people who once lived here, what their daily struggles and joys could have been.

Quieted, long gone, their memory now hidden under crosses.
What really remains here on this earth?
Surely, thankfully, not the struggles.

But the crosses.