Two weeks go by, the blog remains dormant. At home, at work, I attempt to recover. Initially my jet lag wore off, but a week after returning, I find myself unable to stay awake past 9 pm, so I listen to my body. I sleep when I need rest, even when it feels indulgent. I take time to regain my footing and adjust to my schedule.
Now I’m back, clinging to memories and images of my trip. I treasure what I experienced, and I hold tight to the sights, sounds and smells of my adventure through Ireland.
I can think of no other way to see the country than by driving straight through it. Logging hundreds of miles in a rental car, jamming through the lush countryside, discovering how difficult it is to drive on the other side of the road, I saw more of the country than I ever expected. (And to learn about those motor vehicle cultural differences was a trip itself!)
During the road-tripping, I stopped at a Saturday morning farmer’s market, where locals sold their goods and merchandise. I admired the happy go lucky people who shrugged off their country’s mercurial weather with simple logic: “It’s I-rrreland!”
After talking about their simple, happy lives and happy, home fed animals, I envied these people and their simplistic values and lifestyles. “How I wish mine could be more like yours,” I thought.
Another view from the ground was seeing rows and rows of empty houses, just like what can be seen across the USA. To realize the housing meltdown far exceeds the boundaries of California was sobering. “How many Irish dreams were broken by the international meltdown? ” I thought. “Hundreds, thousands …a lot.”
Traveling that far of a distance for that short of time was truly a whirlwind, but as I stood on the edge of the Cliffs of Moher, with the Atlantic Ocean blowing in my face, I forgot about the miles logged, and I melted into the moment.
Struck by the natural beauty of the cliffs, while standing in the wind with thousands of birds flying below, I bowed to their greatness, strength, beauty and legacy.
Humbled by the size of what I stood before, I took time to recognize something I have never seen before in my life.
I’ve been to the Redwood Forest, camped at Lake Powell and flown over the Grand Canyon, but I haven’t stood before such a great natural wonder of the world.
Standing before something so grand, beautiful and natural, truly a landscape for everyone to witness at least once in your life time, is a moment I will remember for years to come. Probably forever.