Monday, August 27, 2007

In love with Ireland

While Kevin is downstairs at the pub trying to explain to the owner that he has broadband in his establishment and helping him to remeber what his password is, I would like to share some thoughts about my favorite country so far. Ireland is just how I imagined it, only better! Each day that we have been here we have ridden on some fantastic, wildflower-lined, narrow winding roads through picture-perfect towns made up of brightly colored homes with manicured lawns and gardens bursting with flowers. Wether on a coastal road with wiews of cliffs and beaches and waves crashing against limestone shores, or on a desolate country road surrounded by acres of boggs and farmland divided with stone walls and dotted with grazing two-toned sheep and hearty cattle, I feel part of this land. I have no Irish ancestors to speak of, but there is a sense of warmth and community yet at the same time a feeling of isolation and sadness that appeals to me at a level deep, deep inside. I have a sense that at some point in my life this is where I was meant to be; in a small stone cottage overlooling the sea. Where I could sit in my sun room and watch the rain fall and the waves crash stoicly against the rocks, or tend to my rose garden wrapped in a wool blanket on a bright crisp day.
Here, I get the feeling of being close to everything but far enough away so as to be able to feel modern and ancient all at once. I don't know, it is hard to explain, but if you've been here, traveling on these roads, you know what I mean.
In terms of ridng my motorcycle, Ireland is a dream! All the roads are paved, even if they seem impossibly narrow. Distances are short, but traveling the distances takes a long time because of the configuration of the land. The coastline is made up of "fingers" each containing numerous inlets. On any given day, we ride winding roads with tight turns and whoop-de-woops past a half dozen whole or partly whole castles, through tiny towns and modern cities each with their own personality but very much a part of the collective Ireland. I have become very comfortable with leaning waaaay over to one side then the other followng the curves of the snaking road. I've yelled out plenty of woo-hoos, especially while wooshing under a canopy of trees and wild flowers or on a cliff road by the sea. I have begun to drive with my visor open so I can constantly take deep deep breaths of crisp fresh cool air!
Well, Kevin is back, no luck with the broadband. We'll be back downstairs at the pub around 10pm tonight to partake of a lager while we listen to the Irish music jam session.

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