Welcome back everyone and thank you for traveling with me.
I’m sitting here in the morning, drinking my morning tea, trying to wake up, and thinking about this past week, and the past 4 weeks.
Last week I was in Ennis, a lovely town, with narrow streets, colorful store fronts, music and I had a lovely host Brid. She came and picked me up at the bus station when I arrived and she was wonderful to me. We had great talks and lots of laughs, I met her family when they visited and she has a great sense of humor.
After starting my 2nd day there with a bit of a tummy bug and not feeling great- things got sorted and I went into the tourist office in Ennis.
I asked if there were any day tours, there were so I booked one for the next day. It went through the Burren , stopped at a Dolmen, – stopped at a small pub for lunch- cant remember the name- and we ended up at the cliffs of Moher. It was stunning. It was a good day out and I met some lovely folks. But I wanted more of the Burren.
I searched for guides, sent emails etc, and eventually was able to book one for Thursday Morning for a few hours.
She would pick me up in Ennis, take me for a walk on the Burren, and then bring me back. So the next morning we got together and away we went. She needed to stop at her house for a few minutes, so that’s what we did, had tea and scones, watched some lovely miniature ponies and petted her 2 lovely dogs. She then took me for a walk in the heart of the Burren, it was amazing.
It was magical- I know I have been saying this a lot on this trip. If you drive by you may think that its a bare, sterile, limestone landscape. It is anything but. Here is a living, breathing , fertile land. If you stand still long enough you will see and feel this majestic place in your bones and in your soul. I did. And yes, I cried- good tears, but this feeling of connection to this land, in its various forms, moves me to tears.
My guide, Marie pointed out various flower and fauna, pointed the “erratic ” huge boulders left behind by the glacier that covered this land, explained how the cows help by eating the invasive species which allows the natural plants to grow and thrive. She also explained how beef raised on the Burren have a much better flavor as they are eating these plants and wild herbs such as Sage, which smelled lovely. Meadowlarks and other birds live there and I heard my 1st meadowlark song. I also heard the Cuckoo bird again.
From now on, whenever I hear a cuckoo clock, I will think of Ireland and the people and places I was when I heard the real thing.
Marie suggested some quiet time n my own- perfect- so I laid down on a large rock formation. It was a warm day out and I was surprised at how much cooler the rock was. I closed my eyes and listened to the silence, breathing in the Burren, so it will be carried with me, and felt it in my bones. Then the Medowlark started singing, and it song just kept going, and going, and going. It was amazing.
To soon, it was time to go, and we headed off. Marie had another tour group that afternoon, but she made a suggestion. She could drop me off in a small village, Corifin, where there is the Burren National Park information center, and I could get a free shuttle up to the park and do some walks. The park is on the other side f the place we were just at. And then she or her husband would pick me up around 5:00 and take me back to Ennis.
At first my anxiety was shooting up, and I was thinking nope, but I realized it was my anxiety, I was safe and I want to be in the Burren, so I agreed. So, she dropped me off, I picked up some water, and I did get the the National park, and it was such a different landscape, there were some woodlands, meadows and more grass. I did a couple of the shorter loop walks, as it was really warm and to hot to do the 3 hour hikes. It was amazing.
After I went to a small cafe in the village and had something to eat, went back to the information center, watched their videos and learned more about the park. And just after 5:00 pm, Marie’s husband Mike, picked me up and took me back to Ennis.
It was an adventure filled day.
I have, and continue to learn many things about myself, and the world on this trip. And as I said before, I knew on this trip that my past would be bumping into the present and this is a prime example. I’m glad I stepped into the unknown, because it has helped reinforce, that stepping into the unknown does not equal danger, as it did growing up. Growing up, I needed to know what was going on, when , etc, because it was about survival. This trip is not about survival, this trip is about recovering who I am, returning to a place that has called me for years, and experiencing the people and places.
Stepping into the unknown does not mean I don’t use my common sense, be wise and smart, and aware of my surroundings, make plans etc. But it does mean, that in general, the world is a safe place, I am safe, and I do not need to be in survival mode.
If you think about it, this whole trip is stepping into the unknown, and I know I will go back home a much more confident, more whole and richer person.
Those are my thoughts for the day…thanks for coming along