Heart to Heart


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.


7 thoughts on “Heart to Heart

  1. Dear Maryann,
    Just wanted to say I’m thinking about you today….I’m home from school with a cold and trying to avoid laryngitis. I’ll have several cups of tea and will pray that just the right friendships will come along for you.

  2. How I wish I could hold one of your warm mugs of tea and bite into a bakewell! Mostly, I long to have a relaxing talk, mother and new mother/daughter. Soon — but at your girlhood table, and with tea fresh from China! How things have changed…. and I will always love you so.

  3. Hey Maryann,

    Just wanted you to know we’re thinking about you. If you ever make it back to Indy (you better…sometime) we’ll make sure we have a Movie Club night while you’re here. Get some girlie time with wine (sorry…no tea) and treats. Hopefully the better weather brings in some easier times over there.

    Erin (and Andrew)

  4. Thanks, friends. 🙂 You warm my heart.

    Pat – hope the throat is better! Keep going with the tea. 🙂

    Chris – a bakewell is sorta like a mini pie but filled with cake, jam and frosting rather than normal pie filling. So it’s not exactly a cookie, not really a cake. There’s nothing else but to call it a Cherry Bakewell. You’ll have to try some when you travel to the UK or Ireland one day!

    Mom – I’ll see you in just over 4 weeks!

    Erin – I’m so jealous of your movie club! I hope to make it over there one day very soon.

  5. I should check your blog more often! Miss you terribly over here…but we will have tea and catch up when you’re here! Bring bakewells and tea?

  6. Pingback: 7 Links « View From an Irish Back Yard

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s