Can a person feel connected to some place he or she has never been? Can the place of one's ancestors "call out" to a person from across the world...so that whenever you close your eyes, you feel swept away to those distant shores? Do I have entirely too much imagination? Probably. However, vivid imaginings aside, I DO feel connected very intimately to Ireland.
I love the music and the dancing, and even as a small child would feel compelled to reel or jig whenever a lively tune was played. I love the pristine, insanely green landscapes; the rugged coastlines; the haunting castle ruins. Whenever i hear a beautiful lilting Irish accent, my heart swells a little. I have considered adopting my own accent, but since my children already find me strange and embarrassing enough, i decided against it. I fantasize about white washed cottages with fat, thatched roofs and bright blue shutters. I would love to build one in which to retire, like the little old woman of the roads, with my stool and table, and heaps of sod on the fire. My husband, who has patiently listened to all my plans, reminds me that sod roofs do not do so well in Arkansas. Still in my mind's eye the clock chimes and my brass tea kettle is gleaming....
I have always dreamt and planned to travel to Ireland. Someday my feet will stand upon the Irish soil my ancestor, William Shaw, left in 1814. Hopefully, i will find i may have some cousins still around in the old hometown of Ballymegarry. Perhaps there will still be traces, remains of a family long ago. I wish it to be so. Something that lingers from a time so long ago.
In the quiet of the evening, when my children are sleeping, i can close my eyes and see her beautiful green hills under bluest sky. I can feel her sea breezes kiss my cheeks, and her perfumed air fills my senses. I may not be there today, but someday i will answer her call and return.
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