Down the Hall on Your Left

This site is a blog about what has been coasting through my consciousness lately. The things I post will be reflections that I see of the world around me. You may not agree with me or like what I say. In either case – you’ll get over it and I can live with it if it makes you unhappy. Please feel free to leave comments if you wish . All postings are: copyright 2014 – 2017

Yearning To Return

LAST YEAR WAS A TIME OF TRAVEL FOR US. Our seven weeks in Ireland was followed by about 10 days in Detroit, then a week in Texas. That was all squeezed into the period from early April to early July.

This year promises to be more sedate, but hardly comatose. We’ve already done one trip to Texas with another booked for Mid-July. In between there will be another 10 day sojourn, this time to Georgia near Atlanta. After that the calendar looks empty as far as travel is concerned – until the Holidays late in the year.

Dublin at Night

Dawn and I have talked about another trip to Ireland. We were there last year at this time, but any new trip may have to sit on the back burner for a while – unless, of course, that Lottery Quick-Pick ticket comes through.

We have been to Ireland five times since 2006 and it has become our place faraway where we feel right at home. There is an ease of living there. I don’t mean easy. Life can be difficult and pressing there just like anywhere else, but in Ireland there is an ease – a graceful approach to each day no matter what it brings.

Dublin can be like any other big city. With a population of almost two million people Dublin can be crowded, dirty, noisy, expensive, and dangerous. Considering that the entire Republic is home to about 4.6 million, if you leave Dublin you will find a lot of open space to move around and see the forty shades of green.

Part of that “Ease of Living” I talk about in Ireland comes from the Irish familiarity with the fragile quality of life. They appreciate their quality of life that is no longer mired in the shadow of starvation. In their National psyche their past is ever present.

In the 1840s there were eight million people on the island when recurring famine and starvation eviscerated the country. With a million dead and another million boarding ships for America and other countries, by 1926 Ireland was down to three million souls and didn’t start growing again until the 1970s.

The worldwide High Tech Revolution helped Ireland’s economy to boom. Called the “Celtic Tiger” Ireland actually had people immigrating to the island looking for work and a better life. Many came from Eastern Europe as the old Soviet Empire crumbled. The population soared in and around Dublin.

The shift of people to the eastern shore of the island also affected the West of the country. Today, County Mayo, on the Atlantic coast, has a population only 1/3 of what it was before the famines of the 19th century.

It is the West and North where Dawn and I find ourselves most often – in Counties Mayo and Donegal. The small towns and villages have made us feel welcome. We aren’t loud and flashy people and I think the Irish are glad to see a couple of “Yanks” who through like a blustery storm off the ocean. While in Ireland we have, too often, seen other Americans behaving so boorishly and loud that we felt compelled to apologize for their “Ugly American” antics.

Yes, we would like to go back again, to feel the warmth of the Irish people, enjoy the echo of their thousands of years of History, the Music that compels you to smile and tap your toes, and to feel the breezes off the ocean.

While Ireland and its people felt the economic blow of the recent global recession like everyone else, they have not lost faith or determination. Their course is steady and sure. Ireland is a nation with an eye on its past and its vision firmly fixed on its future.

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5 thoughts on “Yearning To Return

  1. I like your short tour of Ireland, but your mention of venturing down to Georgia are words from two people after my heart. I truly love that State, especially the NE, up in and around Helen, GA. There are so many beautiful little towns in Georgia where the people genuinely enjoy you stopping by, or at least waving as you drive by. Food and Shopping can’t be beat. In Atlanta The Underground draws my and mine to an unforgettable experience, too.

    Have a lot of Southern fun!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. John – Couldn’t agree more with your comments on the Emerald Isle. We’ve only been once, and after a touristy roam around Dublin, we discovered Ireland’s real treasure – down-time in the small towns dotted around the countryside. The people couldn’t have been nicer, and like you we suffered the embarrassment of fellow Americans behaving badly, as if they’ve never been a guest in another’s house. Hard to imagine a friendlier, humbler, more beautiful country and its citizens. Also “yearning to return”.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I love Ireland. We have friends there for thirty years. Everything you said is true John. We will never forget the wonderful country and people of Ireland. ☺☺☺

    Like

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