It’s my last evening on this enchanted island of Inishmore. It has been an amazing, magical and sometimes challenging 5 days here. I have become more comfortable with the landscape, and with myself. It has been an interesting transformation.
I have had some interesting conversations with folks from all over, and the locals. I have talked to people from the USA, Canada, Ireland, Germany. I have had surprising conversations with some local folks and had lots of laughs.
A couple days ago I was at a local pub getting some lunch. There was a family a few tables over, a mom, 2 children, a boy around 11 and a girl around 14 and a grandma. The family had finished their lunch and they were talking about going for ice creme. The boy says, ” I’m not buying ice creme I’m saving money for a puppy” Then Grandma says “Micheal, I told you, you’re not getting a dog, there is a giant rat in the basement that will do you” I just about fell off my seat laughing.
The next day I was coming out of the grocery store and this women starts speaking Irish to me. I guess the non response from me gave her an idea that I could not speak it. Then she says to me, “I’m sorry, I thought you were a local” I don’t mind. So we sat outside eating our ice creme and chatted. She asked where I was from, what I’m doing here, how long I have been in Ireland etc. So, I told her all about my trip etc. I also told how I have been feeling about Ireland and how it seems to be feeding my soul. She said, “That’s your Irish calling and talking. Its like you have been planted and lived in soil all your life, but now your roots ave reached and found the subsoil and pulling up the nutrients” yep, that’s what its like.
I have been riding a bike for the last 5 days as transportation, I forgot how much fun that can be, and have been fine with getting off the bike and pushing it up one of the many hills. Back home I would have pushed myself till I was dying and berate myself for not making it to the top of the hill with out getting off of stopping.
I have noticed how some old coping patterns still show up when I’m stressed and have been working on that.
I have woken up to the amazing cornucopia of bird song and heard the the Cuckoo bird singing its heart out while walking or cycling. I have become a familiar face to some of the locals who know me by name, and the lodging I have been staying at is amazing and they have been warm and welcome. Everyone on this island have engulfed me with care, laughter, and concern. It has been magical in so many ways. From the gentleman who gets water for his cows every morning and chats with me, to where I’m staying, to the workers ask me how I’m doing and chat. The local who saw me drop off my bike this afternoon, and I needed a cab ride back to the lodging, who picked me up but refused a fee. They have all welcomed me, made me feel at home, and part of this community.
As I wrote in the last post, the 7000 miles of stone walls are like fingers that stretch across this land, holding it down and secure from the storms. This has been an amazing 6 days, its had its challenges, but this has also allowed me to stretch my roots, down into the subsoil of the land of my ancestors, into myself to discover who I am and what I an do.
Tomorrow I leave this magical place on the noon ferry. I hope to one day be back, or maybe even be back for a few days later on my trip if it works out. I have taken lots of photos, have great memories, and tonight I will go for a walk and leave a few pebbles from home, somewhere amongst the many stone walls, along with a small pewter medallion that says “Connection”
For this island has given me connection to the land, and to myself, and for that, I am full of gratitude.
Thanks for joining me. Come along with me to my next stage of my Epic Irish odyssey…