When the day’s troubles weigh me down, Ireland calls to me. I hear the lilt of her voice over the drudgery of my days. In a second, I time travel back to Dublin’s streets where we dodge cars and raindrops in pursuit of museums and castles, where I hear the wild tales of Viking conquerors. I’m stretched out on cool sheets, with windows thrown open to the soft laughter of children in a park, dreaming of a magical past. I’m sleeping in the castle where Bram Stoker once lived. And I’m writing a novel in my head.
In Trim, we experience the arms-wide-open hospitality of our hosts, and the loveliness of long idle walks through the ancient cemetery. We skirt around the River Boyne’s treasures. The ancient burial mounds gentled by time, pique my creativity. Another poem, another story, another world to create. Newgrange and Tara, passages into my own imagination. From the parapets of ancient Trim Castle, I view rolling hills dressed in a patchwork of green. Clamoring down the steep circular stairs, I become the servant or the soldier. On another day, from the mist, steps a Frenchman with the key to another adventure. And we enter Ireland’s womb, hear her heartbeat, embrace her warmth as she shelters us from autumn’s cold tears. Over hot tea, we chat with locals before walking through gardens filled with ageless yews. The rain pats softly, now, against our umbrellas.
Our travels take us on, toward the coast and the music of Doolin. Mingled with voices, fiddles, and guitars comes the murmur of the Atlantic. Her song blends with bird and man in perfect harmony. On the Burren, we scramble across rock, zigzag along the coast, and stand on the edge of the world. With ocean spray slapping our faces, we cross over to Aran Island, spending our day in a buggy, our horse on his last trip before retirement, our driver born to this island of rock wall and small pastures. With pride, he introduces us to his dog, and takes us by his cottage before leaving us at the pub. Our “ride” home takes us to the Cliffs of Moher, where my heart aches over the beauty. Our nights fill with food, drink, and song from the local pubs. Our mornings with bright breakfast talk from others who want Ireland as their mistress, too.
Copyright 2011 Elizabeth Abrams Chapman
|Aran Island, Ireland|
|Approaching the Cliffs of Moher|