I arrived in Ireland two days ago, along with my mother and my son.
They are here to do family research and find the homes of some of our relatives who left many years ago to come to America. It’s been an emotional experience thus far.
I came along to basically be their driver. ( they are the genealogy experts ) I enjoy the family history, and I shed some tears at the sight of my great grandfather’s home. I imagined him as a very young man, heading out the old gate of his home as he left to find a better life in America. Back then, the families would have a “wake” after a relative left, knowing they would never see them again. I can’t imagine the bravery, fear, and sadness that went along with it all. So it was a powerful experience to come all the way to Ireland and find his home.
I needed the time away. My favorite part so far was spending about 20 minutes all alone, listening to the sea splash against the rocks. Yes, this extrovert sat all alone for a bit. Of course there were other people walking around, which I suppose comforted me in some way. They were a ways off, so for myself it was more solitude than I usually get. I quickly discovered the importance of it.
I sometimes try to find a “place” to be alone and think. I am always searching in life and looking for answers. I’ve come to accept that’s just who I am. There is no cure….only temporary fulfillment when I allow myself to express what I have discovered.
Sitting in a beautiful, natural environment filled my mind, my senses, and my soul. Trying to find that inner peace all alone with a cup of tea at Starbucks doesn’t do it for me. Perhaps I came all the way to Ireland to figure that out.
I am from a small area in the midwest of America. When I get back home I won’t be able to smell the wonderful smells, hear the calming sounds, and see the lovely sites that come with sitting near the ocean. I’ll have to search for something else. I need more time in nature.
I find I am happiest when I am out of my “element.” I am already itching to go somewhere else and I am not even back home yet.
I have also found, while in new places, my mind opens. I think there is such an importance to it. Perhaps it’s the realization that there is an entire world out there….not just my world. Everything is thought provoking when in a new city, state, or country. I love experiencing the food, music, everything in a different culture. It all touches a part of my brain that is untouched in my daily routine.
More than anything, I love meeting new people. Absolutely, the highlight of my trip has been talking with locals. I love people so much. My family laughs at me (in a loving way ;)), because I grow attached quickly, and I will miss people I’ve only spoken with for a short time. To me, people are the best part of life.
I’ve been here a few more days since I began this post. Since then, we also discovered the cottage where my great grandmother grew up, mourned at sites where mass burials occurred during the great potato famine, visited in the evenings with our wonderful bed and breakfast host, (who is filled with fabulous stories and information about this country he loves), and just sat and pondered at what our strong, brave ancestors endured.
We are hopping on a plane tomorrow, and heading back to the states. I am sad to leave, but excited to see the rest of my family.
I’ll rest for a day or so….then begin planning the next place. I am thinking Italy.