Feet are back on the ground after losing Tuesday to travel. It felt natural to land at the cottage. Worked to set up housekeeping and set about getting comfortable with the time change. If you’re sleeping, we’re probably up and about.
Time is a strange thing. Our most recent visit to Ireland was 2020, same time of the year. To us, it has felt like it was last year. We’ve connected with a couple of our Irish friends from one fellowship and they, too, thought we were here last year. This trip the vegetation doesn’t strike us as being so unusual. Could this be because of our multiple trips, or living with similar plants in California?
Many of our friends expressed concern about traveling during Covid. After much prayer, we felt confident 2022 was the time to resume travel in Ireland, connecting with various pastors, church members and other friends we’ve made in County Kerry. Little did we know when we purchased our tickets, the EU considers Ireland to have one of the most successful vaccination programs, with about 94% of the population vaccinated. The Omicron variant is alive and well as it moves through the population, similar to its behavior in other countries. We’re still trying to understand how the pandemic has affected the churches, their work, and their people. Linda remains connected with a group of writers and knows from them how difficult the lock-downs were for many. We’ve still to learn how that affected the churches.
Life is hardly back to normal on the Green Isle. Pubs and restaurants close at 8 pm. To gain access to an establishment serving food, they request to see proof of our Covid vaccines, and most recently asked for a contact phone number in the event they receive the report of an infection at the establishment.
We’re adjusting to the “normal” here and expect before long we won’t notice.
In our efforts to get settled, we’ve gone to some places we’ve shopped in the past. Some businesses have been updated since 2020. We’ve noticed many businesses are closed out on Dingle Peninsula. Some due to normal winter shut-downs. Some due to lack of employees, caused both by illness and the lack of international workers. Those workers aren’t here because of the virus, international travel restrictions, or other international relationships; and the lack of affordable housing here. Some of this news sounds similar to what we hear at home. In the brief span we’ve been here, we’ve witnessed people attempting to carry on with life. We’ve a friend from an earlier visit whose daughter turned 11 this last week. That daughter wanted to have high tea with her mom and friends of her mom. They graciously included us in the gathering. It was an honor to see the lovely young lady Meabh is becoming, and to share in her celebration.
Yesterday was a beautiful morning, so we drove to town, stopped at our favorite coffee shop for take-n-go drinks and took off.
Took off for a drive up a nearby mountain pass. The spring melt has the rivers flowing at near peak capacity.
The morning air, fresh and cool, offers the fragrance of spring. One could smell the earth, the heat generating from the rocks and the moisture in the shade under the trees. The sound of the water racing downhill, roaring over rock walls, splash landing at the base before flowing into the river filled the air. In one location, the cool spray carried gently by the breeze, brushed against my face.
In another location, we sat nearby and absorbed the sensations of being by water, out in nature.
Honestly, at one site, I got dizzy sitting there. We were in the truck, parked close to the river’s edge. The sights and sounds were relaxing, refreshing yet simultaneously invigorating. As I sat and watched the water, I got the sense the vehicle was moving. It wasn’t. Yet the water was so intense, so fast and so mesmerizing, I lost track of everything else.
Perhaps these photos will take you to these places also…
In the midst of the current pandemic, we’ve found ourselves with more time at home. There has been a task at my house I’ve been saying “if I just had some uninterrupted time at home, I would get that done.”
So, due to the pandemic, I have time at home. I’ve found tackling the task difficult to do. Not because the task is so hard, I just lacked enthusiasm to start and stick with the project to completion.
It took me over a week to complete the project once I began. What’s interesting to me, is that I realize it was not a question time. The question proved to be motivation.
For whatever reason, I made cleaning my office/art room into something so daunting that I was avoiding even beginning.
I can say it is complete. I’ve been waiting to start a project in the room until I completed the clean-up. Now I’m able to begin creating something I want to do. Why am I not filled with a sense of satisfaction for cleaning up my work space?
Do you have a project or task that you’ve been putting off and can’t seem to do it?
This weekend, my daughter and I talked about the different ways people look at life. We both agreed, those who have an attitude of gratitude are people who are much more pleasant to be around and elude a much more uplifting persona.
For me, I know my life didn’t start out as such. I tended to compare my life to others and felt I had to strive for, whatever…. The list was long!
I cannot point to a time when this changed, but found it to be a gradual transition, which left me in a place where I cannot stop finding things to be grateful for. It is easier to laugh and I don’t take myself so seriously; not taking myself so seriously has allowed me to enjoy life more!
I’ve also found, on those days when I awake and it feels like there is a cloud hanging over me, once I find something to be grateful for the cloud starts to abate. The more gratitude, the less room there is for the cloud.