If you were here, I’d put the kettle on and pull two mugs down off the shelf. I’d drop in two triangular Lyon’s tea bags and I’d ask if you take sugar or milk. Once the kettle had whistled, I’d make the tea and bring our steaming mugs over to the table, along with a few cherry bakewells from the bread bin. Cherry bakewells are a wonderful little break to have with tea.
And then, we’d talk. Maybe we’d talk for hours. Maybe we’d finish the box of cherry bakewells.
The Spring wind would dry the clothes on the line, and Evelyn would sleep soundly through her nap as we talked. The sun would begin to set over the hill, silhouetting Magdalene’s Tower, and we’d hear the bells ringing from churches all across the town. I’d have to start thinking about dinner. I’d be turning on lamps in the sitting room and pulling the shades. And still, we’d talk.
How I long to talk to you like this.
There’s a lot on my mind these days – new motherhood, finding work, managing the household expenses, starting the garden again, going to see the family in a few weeks.
I love Ireland, with all my heart I do. But lately, it’s been a hard place to live, for all of us. It’s ironic, really, the age-old paradox of living here – plenty of gorgeous landscape and thousands of struggling people. In a way I think it shows the tenacity (and humor!) of the Irish who have lived and worked and died here for generations. You’ve got to be strong to keep going in this lovely green world where you can’t predict the future two days in a row.
Admittedly, I’m a bit of an American control-freak! Ireland (and Frank) have taught me a lot about letting life slow down, trusting that things will work out, and enjoying the little beauties within each hour of each day. I’ve learned to be thankful for each blessing handed our way, and I’ve become consciously aware of how much people need one another. I’ve rediscovered the healing found in prayer. But I still have my freak outs.
I wonder if life will always be this hard? I wonder if life will always be this good?
I wonder what you would say, if you were here.
And who are “you?” You’re the kindred spirits I left behind when I moved here. You’re the grandma and mother and sisters who seem so far away, even with phone calls, emails and letters. You’re the friends I have always hoped to find on these shores but have somehow missed in the crowd.
So I make the tea for myself and take out a cherry bakewell and sit at the table staring ahead into space. And I think of what I’ll be writing to you – all of you – on my blog tonight.