Journal

 

musing in my journal on the drive home 1 COMMENTS

Driving west into the dawn. The sun peaks its little bright head over this island and what was dark slowly saturates into this early kind of dewy grey.  Not quite color yet, but almost there.  Early and silent.  Sometime you still feel the wildness, the magic hear. A silence and stillness so heavy, like a breath waiting to be taken.

 

I can’t wait to wake up tomorrow and hear the sound of birds outside my window, my birds.  To feel my nose tickle with the smell of the ocean, my ocean.  But for now I just sit on the bus and wait while the wheels turn beneath me.

 

It’s the simple pleasures I look forward to most:  Making coffee, the sizzling eggs cooking on the stove. Meandering down to the beach to look at seashells, running in the deep mossy woods.

 

The sun is out a bit more now and little white houses begin to pop out of the landscape as it turns from a cold grey to a pastoral picture postcard.  I remember thinking it so strange that all the houses here were white – but now I get it.

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I plan to enjoy this Christmas – My first Christmas in Ireland.  I’m nervous, of course;  Away from my family, new people, new traditions.  You spend you childhood with a very particular idea of what the holidays look like.  For me that was a white christmas with lots of snow, hot chocolate, and board games. Each year we had a christmas tree cut from the farm down the road and decorated with multicolored old lights and ornaments that ranged from childhood craft projects to glass angles with a special emphasis on ornament of various animals. My mother and I baked more pies than a family of four could possible eat and my brother and dad played cards while drinking egg nog.  Christmas eve we would all be corralled into the car with our favorite stuffed animals and mom and dad would drive us around the neighborhood looking at christmas lights.  Then, when we got back we would open one, just one, present of our choice before bed.  Santa came in the night and filled up stockings and usually set up one choice gift ready to play with.  It was never lavish – but always meaningful.  I suppose it is the nature of things that as you age you slowly realize that the image of christmas in your head was carefully curated by your parents and cultivated by your environment.  And being in a new country of the first time I find myself examining over and over again each little bit of my holiday routine in my head.  “Why do I do this? Is this important? Where did this come from? What traditions do I want to bring with me here? What traditions will I want to pass on to my kids?”  While I keep many of my own traditions in my heart, I am trying to start here in Ireland with blank slate for the holiday and see this magical time of year through the eyes of my new friends and family here.  There are so many things I am excited about. Dying to learn about and experience.  Mostly I am just dreadfully curious to see what is similar, but especially what is different!  Nollaig Shona – as they say here.

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Up next,  me making and tasking christmas pudding (a curious concoction that is a mystery to me. Is it cake, is pudding?) and mincemeat pies ( which are similarly confusing – mincemeat pie should have meat in them right? wrong) exploring the exciting Christmas Market which I have heard to much about.

  • Michael Cregge

    So how was Christmas different in Ireland?