Monday, March 21, 2011

I went to Ireland and fell in love

I told my father before I left for my first real vacation in over ten years, to my first vacation in Ireland that I was going to Ireland and was going to fall in love.

I did.

Not with a man, but with the country.

It wasn’t love at first sight, it was gradual. The affair didn’t start out on a great note. In fact, I wanted to turn tail and fly back home the same night I arrived. But I didn’t. I stuck it out and day after day my fondness grew to adoration, to affection and then to love.

I couldn’t get enough of the countryside of Kenmare, Ireland. I wanted to spend every waking minute outside soaking in the feel and I did. As the days passed I found myself waking up earlier and earlier. Unable to sit still and stay inside I would clean up and dress and the minute I put my hiking boots on I was out my green cottage door.

I saw the land in its shades of wheat and green, gray and blue. I walked the narrow roads to wherever my heart felt like going or the land felt like leading. I smelled the cow dung, heard the cock cock-a-doodle-doodling, let the crisp air kiss my cheeks.

From my little piece of Ireland, I saw mountains with snow, rocky hills covered in dry grass, and a tidal river that would be low in the mornings only to return in the afternoons and fill up her inlets with treasures from the sea.

I explored ruins older than any I have ever seen with a history meant to be discovered and shared. I walked narrow roads that abutted rock walls or farms or even cliffs. As I hiked and explored, I questioned who was here before me. What did they do? How had they lived? Did they love the land? Where did they go?

With each day, my heart grew larger, my love grew stronger, and I found myself longing. Longing for a little piece of Ireland, of Kenmare. Longing to stay.

I thought it would be the water, the river that would draw me in, but it was the people. Both now and past. It was the day I discovered the old church ruin that I realized I was in love. The day I accidentally walked into a graveyard and stopped dead in my tracks.

The feelings and emotions that swept through me as I strolled past headstones and stood in the old church tower were overwhelming. The words that passed through my mind were, “You’re home.” And I was. For whatever reason that day, I walked into a place I would not voluntarily walk into and I tumbled head over heels in love.

3 comments:

Emma Leigh March 21, 2011 at 6:13 AM  

Beautiful pictures. Can't wait to hear more.

Robin K March 21, 2011 at 11:42 AM  

There has got to be a book brimming to the surface after such a magic place!

Denise March 21, 2011 at 11:51 AM  

More to come and yes a book has already started out of this. :-)

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