I wish that I had kept a journal sooner or been more aware of special moments when I was growing up.They can bring such pleasure to the present when they are savored and held close.
In 1996 ,my husband and I made a long desired trip to Ireland,land of my people.Those pale ,thin survivors of a terrible famine in their homeland of 1848.They came here to survive but the Emerald isle always filled their deepest memories.This love of Ireland surely was passed on in my genes because I never knew Ellen Ambrose,she who stepped onto a wharf in New York at the age of 18.Nor did I know her daughter,my grandmother Hannorah, who died when I was two.Did she buy that summer place in the Catskills because it looks like Glendalough?
How to describe Ireland or the idea of it.Steeped in "The Quiet Man" and Maureen O'Hara or Yeats and his wonderful "Isle of Innisfree":"I hear the lake water lapping...I hear it in my deep heart's core.."
Bright green grasses,border collies, lakes,the raging sea,islands like the Blaskets.The saints ,Patrick,Aidan and Kevin, and the wonderful round towers dotting the country side.All these things we drank in on our ten day trip.But there was this moment .
We had arrived in Doolin on the coast and the sun shining seemed perfect for a trip to a castle,so thought my husband.We had seen so much with so little time to ruminate.I wanted nothing more than to sit with my journal.I told him to go on and off he went ,not at all happy.I took my book and pen into Mrs. Kennedy's flourishing garden and sat among the blooms.A large,happy bumblebee joined me ,careening around the flowers ,a sweet symphony for my writing.In that moment ,I was at peace, wanting to be nowhere else.I rolled around in the words I was writing in pure delight.
Ah, the pleasure....."And live alone in a bee-loud glade."Yeats
I had another moment like this recently:after a long steep 5 mile hike,through drenching rain, we arrived at the Hike Inn near the Appalachian Trail.After changing our clothes,we had an hour before our meal was ready.We found ourselves on a comfortable couch in the main lodge with a warm fire and a library of nature books.For one hour, I read the beginning of a book about a kayak trip on the Altamaha River in Georgia.I loved every word and after our hard hike, I felt such peace being with Janisse Ray and her writing.
On any given day,I can pull these memories out .I know that there are more;I just need to stop to have them.