Saturday, November 26, 2011

It ends here...

I am just off the plane from Glasgow.  What that means for me is that my Ireland trip is essentially finished -  nothing left but the getting home.  Six flights in two days to get from Ireland to Seattle.  I am sad.  I am tired.  Did I mention sad?  I am trying to figure out how to live without having the anticipation of this trip in my life.  I have lived the excitement for so long.  I will figure it out, I reckon,  but first there is one bit of unfinished business I must, must tend to before leaving Ireland's shores. 

It was important to get one more "Shannon" picture in!  This was the last I saw of the Shannon Airport.
I had very few expectation or goals for this trip.  I made some vague plans but didn't want to tie myself too closely to a schedule.  I wanted to experience my favorite phenomenon - serendipity.  And I did - in spades.  I let the current of Ireland take me where she would and it was a great trip.  But the one thing I felt utterly compelled to accomplish, beyond anything else, I had failed to see through.  See, I had this letter that I wanted to leave with the Shannon River.  I had it written and She wanted it but the opportunities to commune with Her failed me.  I was at the Shannon Airport now with no car and knowing not a soul.  I had a few hours before dark and my flight left early in the morning.  It was now or never.  If I couldn't figure it out now then I would leave Ireland with one regret - and I couldn't let that happen.  I utterly rejected that notion.  So I struck out on foot, letter in hand at dusk.  The Shannon Airport is beside the Shannon River but that didn't mean much as I was beside the Shannon for the majority of my trip.  It was the getting to Her....that was the mission I had failed.  I walked and walked and it looked as though I was going to have to climb some fencing and hike through 400 yards of marsh.  But that was fine I really was willing to take whatever risks necessary to make this happen for myself.  As I continued, I saw the fencing ended at some warehouses, creepy and dark.  At the end of this string of warehouses, though, I saw the Shannon.  It was a place I could walk right up to the banks, I could give her my letter.  I saw my goal, it was here that I could end my quest.  However, to get to the banks I had to traverse these dark buildings where I kept hearing men's voices floating from the walls.  I was frightened but determined (and "slightly" stupid).  I took a deep breath, said a prayer and forged on.  The men in the warehouses stopped talking as I strode past - it got really quiet.  But I finally arrived at the Shannon.  It wasn't as pretty as some spots I had seen - nor did I stay long.  I wet my hands, said hello and put my letter under a rock in the water.  She got it and told me She would read it and consider all my thoughts and requests <grin>.  I then bid a hasty faretheewell and walked the warehouse gauntlet - smiling the entire way.  I felt like it was now ok to leave Ireland.  And that's what I did - albeit reluctantly.
There is a large-ish rock in the water on the right.  It is there that I left my letter.

Thanks so much for taking the time to read about my Ireland journey through all these months.  It was a grand trip and could not have happened without the help of so many people.  Apparently, it takes a village to send Shannon on a trip.  Thank you to Yutaka, Maya, Sean, Patsy and Vern, Hazel, Mrs. Scott, all my new friends that I met in Little Okinawa, Ireland, Ryan and Leanne.  Thanks to so many for well wishes, support and advice.  My heart bursts with gratitude for my Dad without whom this joyous experience would not have taken place for me.  I loved the gesture but mostly the time we spent together.  Unforgettable.

Finally, I have given a lot of thought as to why certain places such as Ireland and Scotland enchant me more than others.  I think it has to do with vibrations of history that it seems I can almost feel in every cell of my body.  And my cells rejoice somehow in the communion of it all - a reunion of sorts.  I found this quote years ago that seems to sum it up:

"In great deed, something abides.  On great fields, something stays.  Forms change and pass, bodies disappear but spirits linger to consecrate ground for the vision-place of the soul.  And reverent men and women from afar and generations that know us not and that we know not of, shall come here to ponder and to dream and the power of the vision shall pass into their souls."
Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain  1824-1914  (I love this quote and respect this man even though he fought on the wrong side of the War of Northern Aggression!  Too bad.  He should have been Southern <grin>)

Thanks for reading!


  1. Oh! Don't start on The War - I'll go all "Union Forever" on you, "Huzzah, boys, huzzah!" Anyhow, loved reading your blog and reliving your trip with you. You brought back great memories from my honeymoon and I feel like I got to visit some new places without the strain of air time and plane fare. What a fabulous journey, you did a great job and it was a joy to read. Looking forward to your next adventure!

  2. Moonbaby: I read your "final report" with a little sadness and a lot of gladness. Your Ireland/Scotland journal made for great reading and looking. I am happy for you. But most of all I am glad I had a small part in it...our time and your happiness is "priceless"!!! With much love...Poppy

  3. Thank you, Kou! I appreciate you reading and enjoying with me. It was so much fun!

    And, Dad, I wrote that report with a lot of sadness, gladness and gratitude. I love you...