Sunday, June 19, 2016

The Second Letter

Up to Devil's Bit
Dearest Ireland,

There are some things you don't know about me. You may think I'm a sleazy nationizer who has had love affairs with a variety of countries.  That would not be true. I've actually been much of a home body most of my life. But when desperation tossed me out of my comfort zone, I leaned on trust in God and a willing spirit to steady myself. And I soon found I could stand up straight and even move forward.

My first flight alone was to Alaska, and I couldn't have been more excited and terrified had I been planning to climb Denali (in one a snow storm.....naked). It was my first real giant step out of my old normal and into the new. I prayed and prayed about that trip and the result was a year of new friends, unimaginable adventures and a long overdue healing within my deepest parts.

Now here I am back on your sunny shores (haha, did that make you laugh?) for the fourth time in a year. My flight was a breeze. But preparing to be gone for three months did make me anxious. I had an enormous checklist of things to get done and the more I did, the longer it grew. I'm still trying to resolve some house repair issues back home by phone and email.

Muckross Abbey in Killarney
The day I landed I was practically obsessing over what I may have forgotten. There was really nothing that couldn't have been replaced here, but insecurity kept nagging at me anyway. Just when I started to relax and realize all was well, I got an automated phone call from my pharmacy stating my prescription was ready for pick up. What???? I don't take any prescriptions! Do I? Maybe I do and I forgot. I called to confirm and no, I don't take any prescriptions. I started thinking about that movie, Gaslight, with Ingrid Bergman. Circumstances made her doubt her own sanity.

Okay, I'm not that far gone. In fact, after the jet lag wore off, I was happily unpacking and asking Doc where we should go first: Kilcooley Abbey (ornate stone carving in this isolated 12th century ruin), Killarney National Park (with beautiful vistas, Muckross Abbey and several nature trails) or maybe a hike up the Devil's Bit (where legend has it that Satan took a bite out of the mountain and what he spit out became the Rock of Cashel)? I've been here five days and we've done all of these.

Tomb in Kilcooley
But as you may guess, dear Ireland, the joy of being your homeland guest is not in just checking sights off a tour map, but interacting, imagining, embracing and feeling embraced. Your soul isn't trapped beneath the earth nor wedged between the stones. Everywhere I go, it floats almost visibly in the air.


  1. I'm in love with Ireland already...cannot wait for more!

    1. Thanks, Janet. I'm excited to see what lies in store.