Seven of ten days is already upon us and I can’t help but feel a wee bit of sadness at the thought of leaving in just three more days. The further north and west we have traveled the more familiar this feels; people and landscapes blurring into an overwhelming sense of home. As someone once said, I have been homesick for a place I’ve never been. But now I’m here. And I don’t want to leave.
Real life calls, however, and boys and house and dog all await our return. I wonder about bringing the boys back here with us next year. I can’t imagine more than twelve months passing before I try and return; that’s a long time to be away from home. But will they feel what I feel here? Will they fall in love with the green hillsides so purposely divided by hand built stone walls? With the desolate Burren, covered in limestone slabs from an ancient sea bed? With the warm Irish spirit that is quick to smile and always willing to share a story or two? With this ancient country abounding with a sense of history they’ve never had in the States?
We met an Irish couple in the hotel pub last night – he is an organic beef farmer named John and we talked about the harsh winter, recent drought, and the severe lack of hay of the country’s cattle. A stranger talking politics, climate change, personal economies and concern and most telling, hope. “All farmers are optimists,’ he quipped.
Perhaps this is where I get my sense of a better tomorrow – my ever deepening Irish roots?