The Call of Ireland

Springtime in Connemara

Some years ago in answer to a deep inner calling I began studying all things Irish; the history, mythology, culture and language. I went on my own journey to the West of Ireland where my grandfather came from. On approach to the Shannon Airport the plane passed low over the end of the runway where I saw a lone sheep in a small stone paddock grazing on bright green grass. The word home echoed in my mind as tears trickled down my cheeks catching me by surprise.

I told an Irish woman I know of this experience and she responded, “well now that would be the ancestors welcoming you home.” In the Irish language (Gaelic) there is no word for emigrant, the closest they come is the word for exile. Now whenever I am in Ireland and people learn that I am of Irish ancestry they say, welcome home. Whether you are of Irish ancestry or not, the Irish people are incredibly warm and welcoming and ready to talk with you. In the ancient Celtic tradition generosity was a heroic act and the Irish embody that tendency still.

The West of Ireland, a place of great scenic beauty, offers a sense of stepping out of time and the chaos of the modern world. The land herself feels old and mystical. In the Neolithic Era , about 8000 year ago, people lived in Ireland who worshipped the Great Mother Goddess which included the land. The Celts who came later also revered the land and celebrated a rich culture. The long monastic tradition in the west of Ireland adds to the feel.

ireland dolmenIn Ireland the land and the people are very much entwined. The Irish reverence for music, dance, storytelling and poetry is still very much alive. West County Clare and the Aran Islands have a unique biological makeup. The white limestone region has plants from both the Arctic and the Mediterranean; orchids, gentians and wild primrose amid bronze-age ring forts and burial dolmens that are older than the pyramids.

Since that initial call and journey I have returned to Ireland again and again steeping myself in her magic. It feels like a land out of time where I am surprised and enchanted by what I discover.

If you feel the call too join me on my next trip to Ireland. For more information visit http://creativitygoeswild.com/west-of-ireland/

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