{IRELAND} THE MAGIC OF THE EMERALD ISLE

October 10, 2017

4 Comments

Green. Fresh. Lush. Every shape + shade of green you can imagine, every color of wildflower and the multitude of grays + blues throughout the sky each day.

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Ireland was about as far removed from the Arizona desert as you can be, and yet ... And yet. There was an openness, an expansiveness through the rolling hills, harsh cliffs, undulating trees and crashing waves, that I’ve not encountered other than in the desert. An invitation to explore, to see, to go within and discover our own expansiveness, our own lush + expressive nature.

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I found myself wandering off along small one lane roads, marveling at how every inch of Mother Earth was simply teeming with life. Sheep dotting the hills, lambs frolicking {yes, frolicking}, cows grazing, and a friendly donkey in every town. The most glorious wild roses I have ever seen, foxgloves 4 feet high, tiny birdsfoot lotuses peeking out, rhododendron FORESTS, and little flowers and green growing out of every single rock wall + structure you see.

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And the music! In all my travels, I’ve never been anywhere in which music is such a part of the lifeblood of a community. At every pub there is music most nights, and the first question asked is “what do you play?” Not “do you play?”, but “what do you play?” It is simply assumed that everyone has at least a minor proficiency in some instrument.

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We saw many a ‘ruiny-thing’, and as much I love history, I was much more interested in what was growing on the buildings, and the play of ancient architecture with the light + land surrounding.

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As our friend A’Odgh said, “We were haunted by the weather.” In other words, it was beautifully warm and sunny nearly our entire 2 weeks there. I had thought surely I would be cold and wet the entire time {and packed accordingly…}, but I was astonished at not only how gorgeous the weather was, but how bright and colorful the entire landscape and sea was as the sun shone upon it. I was constantly awed as the sun sparked brighter + brighter colors hidden within the green, the clarity of the sea and eternity of the brilliant blue sky.

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There are 2 distinct things I took with me from my time in Ireland ~ no wait, 3

1. How FULL I felt being in nature for 2 weeks. We walked and explored and walked a little more. There were certain places I could have spent DAYS exploring and laying on my back in the grass. The beautiful culture of walking ~ people walk to get from here to there, yes, but also just to be in nature. Not for the exercise, but simply to be. To be outside. To enjoy the lush life that is this Earth.

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2. How grateful I am for trees. They are amazing. Graceful, strong, unassuming but fully themselves. Giving life to so much, including US, simply by being.

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3. How much we miss the little awe inspiring pieces of nature we pass by every day. While traveling you want to soak up every single moment and save it to reminisce and validate “yes, I was there!” But there is so much beauty in every moment in our every day experiences. Returning to Phoenix, I remember exclaiming at how brilliant the bougainvillea is ~ the color is so bright against the blue sky, it’s almost blinding! But I see it everyday, and have somehow become used to it, forgetting + ignoring the potent beauty that is before me each and every day.

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Every day we have the same opportunity, the same moments of awe surrounding us, no matter how urban an environment we may inhabit. We can take a 5 minute walk through the neighborhood and revel in the colors, textures, shapes + how Mother Nature always finds a way to express herself. We can soak up the beauty inherent in every moment, just as when traveling, for each moment is precious + fleeting, and who knows if we will see it again tomorrow?

 

Sparkly smiles + flower petals,

kate vanwyk


4 Responses

LOTUSWEI

October 23, 2017

Hi Latifa! Late spring/early summer. It was GORGEOUS!!! I highly recommend making the trip <3 Kate

LOTUSWEI

October 23, 2017

That’s exactly the time of year I was there ~ it was perfect! And same area, too ~ the photo at the top is actually Connemara ponies. Have you spent time on the Dingle Peninsula? That was one of my other favorite spots, as well as in the Burren. Thank you so much for reading and sharing your experience as well ~ so wonderful to know it resonates! <3 Kate

Latifa Lipton

October 21, 2017

Beautiful! What time of year were you there? I have always wanted to go…

Peace
Latifa

Kathie

October 22, 2017

Kate, thanks for the lovely photos from one of my favorite places in all the world. I’ve had the pleasure of visiting Ireland 7 times and resonate with the feelings that you experienced there. It is also good to read your perspective as another Phoenician. Having traveled around a good part of the country, I’ve returned most often to the wild west coast, mostly from Galway into Connemara and up to CO Mayo, then west to Achill Island. I like to stay 3 weeks to a month when I go to settle into the rhythm of living by the sea. Next trip probably late May, early June 2018.
In appreciation,
Kathie

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