It took almost 37 years, but we finally made our ‘honeymoon’ trip to Ireland this summer.
My dear wife teases me about that every once in a while: How long it took us (i.e., me) to get our act together and visit the land of her ancestors’ birth.
Frankly, that simple fact – she has Irish blood, but I have none – helps to explain my reluctance. Not much about the country or its history tends to stir up longings of any sort in my heart. And I felt vindicated to some extent when we actually came upon what’s reported to be the old family homestead – the O’Dochartaigh Keep – in County Donegal.
Call it a castle if you like. I much prefer my bungalow in the suburbs.
It does have one very charming aspect, though: A love-seat, built into the stone wall on the bridge that brings you to the front door. The perfect spot, it turns out, for a much-delayed honeymoon snuggle!
I suppose I find my mind and heart returning to that love-seat today, because it’s our anniversary. And – despite my initial misgivings – it’s true that having recently spent a little time in Ireland with my beloved has indeed helped to highlight for me how deeply I have been blessed by our marriage over the past 37 years.
The timing of our trip was perfect, I think. With more of our life behind us than before us, I’m in a better position to appreciate all that the Emerald Isle has to offer.
What a joy it is, for example, to visit Malin Head – the northernmost tip of Ireland – with your best friend in all the world.
To share bemusement over the inevitability of human foibles – like the tour bus driver who thought it’d be a great idea to maneuver his coach up the one-way road to Malin Head…until it wedged between a Volkswagen and a hard place.
To enjoy rare beauty with her, found only at the ends of the earth.
To know, that wherever the path leads, there’s generosity…and humor…and forgiveness…and acceptance…and yes, divine mystery…to be discovered at her side.
Happy Anniversary, Sweetie!
Let us pause now…to recall that we are in the presence of the Holy & Merciful One.