Lately it seems everyone is asking me why we are going to Ireland to live for a year. Are you going to work? Do have family you're going to live with? What will you do? These and many other questions spill from the mouths of people with their scrunched noses and squinting eyes as if trying to focus just enough to see what exactly I'm trying to share with them. And so I explain.
At first glance, ours might read like the typical bucket list story of two middle-aged women packing up and moving to a foreign country. But it's not. Living in Ireland was never something my sister Christine and I hoped to do one day before we die. It wasn't something to tick off the wish list of "maybe someday" events. Instead, the idea is one deeply rooted in the connection we each have for the tiny town of Dingle, on the southwest coast of Ireland.
For me, it started eighteen years ago, on my first visit to Ireland. As the plane approached the runway, I saw patchwork green fields speckled with white dots that turned into sheep as the plane came to rest on the tarmac. I noticed my body relax and soften as tears welled in my eyes. "Home," I whispered.
Something ancient had stirred deep within and was awakened; a spiritual connection to the place, the history, its people. Some have suggested perhaps a past life. Maybe. All I know is that every time I'm in Ireland I have the exact same experience. I can't explain it or even understand it. I just know I am home.
Christine tells me that she hears the echoes of Irish myth, legend and history long past, and yet also present and vibrant in living people and places. She says that she feels not just grounded, but rooted in the legends and ancient history there.
It is sacred. We both experience it and are one with it. We aren't tourists seeing the people and places from a spectator's position. We are PART of the people and the places we visit. Like Yeats, we are of Ireland.
I hope that helps to answer the questions. I imagine as our days unfold in Dingle and I am able to write about the experience it will become clearer for all of us. For now, It's a calling, is my answer.