Monday, March 14, 2005

Recollections & Senses from Ireland

It has been exactly 3 years since I was to Ireland to visit my cousins in Roscommon. We were there about three days and it strikes me that I miss Ireland still today. I was there on Saint Patrick’s Day and my cousin Mae gave me a white-green-orange cross grain ribbon with a harp on it. Really in Ireland the day is more a feast day somewhat solemn compared to the wild nature of Saint Paddy’s day in the U.S.A. No corned beef and cabbage in Roscommon that I recall. Roscommon to me is very rural but it still has allure. What that allure is I cannot really put into words. It was beautiful, gentle and quiet. Some of the most compelling memories I have are the mists over the fields and grayness of sky over the deep green grass, the green was more like an “evertree” green than I ever recall seeing. One of the most striking places that I saw was a memorial that my cousin Paddy had advocated. It was a field memorial to un-baptized children, I guess it used to be that children who still born or sick un-baptized could not be buried in the Catholic cemetery in the past. This practice in my mind was truly a sin by the priests of the day to be so closed-minded. Paddy knew of the wrong that had been done, he must of advocated that the field be blessed and consecrated and a stone memorial has been erected on that land. This was done to finally honor those children and their families. I have a picture of it somewhere and when I find it I will post. This field must have been an area where everyone knew what was happening, families were shamed by the events – Paddy said that people had to run down to the field in the dark to bury their young – shamed even though the might have crushed hearts, but not ever really able to have the problem discussed openly.

Ireland in general has a smell was constant peet burning. One does get used to it. However as an American I love the smell of oak from the fire and so the two don’t compare it is apples and oranges. Really it is all boiled down to what one is brought up on. Near the coast north of Dublin in a town called Howth all I could smell was fish, not my favorite but it is funny how one can get used to it so fast. In Dingle I recall the smell of peat more than fish.

I did have trouble driving in Ireland, everyone else seemed to drive so fast and I could not. The shift from driving on the right to driving on the left really was not a problem for me but the speed on teeny-tiny roads really scared me.

One sense truly evoked was that of hearing, music was wonderful in Dublin and especially Dingle… at a place called the Small Bridge.


Blogger Sheila Hudson said...

Hi Patty
My mom is from Ireland, Belfast in the north. I've never been but I want to go really bad. Maybe someday although I don't actually see it in the future. Thankfully we can't see around corners huh?
Thanks for sharing, that was interesting.

Friday, March 18, 2005  

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