Oh my! Where to start! Ireland was marvelous; everything I dreamed it would be and more. I had expected Wales, why I do not know since I was right on the Atlantic so should have expected a coastal environment. But it was all wonderful. The Atlantic was so warm, and the weather!! Erica hated the rain and cool temps, but I reveled in them!! It is my type of weather!! The Irish people were so very warm and welcoming! The slower pace of life, the clean fresh food, the inclusiveness and focus on things that matter, the feeling of safety! I could go on and on…..just being surrounded by such beauty day in and out! But mostly seeing Christina and the grands!!! They are all flourishing in this beautiful green land of peace and plenty. Oh the grand time we had. Of course we did major thrift shopping. Ireland has amazing thrift shops and the prices can’t be beat. I also got in lots of sight seeing and wandering through beautiful holy ruins, danced my feet off to lovely Irish music, had my fill of the Guinness, and played in the Atlantic Ocean. Bill cooked the most ahhmazing dinners nightly….omg amazing! The quality of the foods, all fresh and local, was a thing of beauty indeed!! The local grocer visited weekly in his van filled with staples and extras…..loved that!! The tea and biscuits, crisps and omg the breads!! Last time I visited France and the UK (sadly 20 years ago), I swore I would never return to the USA, but well that was a dream….. But now, now living in a place of beauty, peace, and plenty is not such a dream but a clear possibility. So I flew home knowing that this is one dream I can fulfill in a few years time.
I want this post all positive, but it is hard not to contrast the mess we have here with the beauty, peace, and prosperity that so many other nations enjoy. Clean food, clean air, a collective spirit, a slow pace that focuses on humanity not profits. I returned to a country that had just had one of the largest mass shootings (well there were numerous), a community caught up in a gang war with multiple drive by shootings, and a citizenship that has lost its soul. Toxic water (blue green algae), toxic air, poisoned food sources, a crazed gun culture, and the USA work ethic that doesn’t promote mental health and the need for reasonable work hours and vacations. Sigh….I won’t even mention the narcissistic evil thing occupying the White House and his enablers. I will hold Ireland in my heart (and plan my next trip). I will keep the Irish spirit that I felt so deeply from the people as my strength.
Yes Ireland, you have captured my heart!