I’m the wife of a “Swiss Army knife
Of a man”, as he’s been described.
He’s a “hardy, independent Islander”
Born into that vanishing tribe.
An Islander is not the same as
Someone from the city, or town
Or even a farmer or country man
If they don’t have the sea all around.
The Islander’s not just a blow-in
Who’s come for the style and the craic.
The Islander’s part of the fabric
A connection we others still lack.
True Islanders live for their island
They don’t want to be going elsewhere
They can get everything that they need here
And always the fresh salty air.
Sometimes they may leave but their heart stays.
And they know how to handle a boat
In the tides round the island for fishing;
At home, both on land and afloat.
The Islander’s island, they treasure.
For their history is closely entwined
The cliffs and the shoreline and hilltops
Hold old stories they still bring to mind.
The lure of an island is scenic
The tourists flock here for the view
They may spend their time and their money
But they’ll never be one of those few.
True Islanders living on Rathlin
Are declining into the past.
The influence of the mainland
Is creeping up on the life here, fast.