Good morning, dear ones. For the first time this fall, I woke to ice on my windshield and nearby hillsides coated in snow. Although I think we had one of the shortest summers in history, I’m actually kind of happy to see winter arrive. The mountains look so beautiful draped in white, and it’s grand to haul out favorite scarves, woolly socks, and my stash of Earl Grey tea. Life feels cozy, like nature itself is giving me permission to slow down and indulge in unheard of luxuries like finishing a book I start, watching an entire movie in one sitting, and uploading pictures that have been waiting, er, well, a long time. 🙂
Some of the pictures I found are from my trip to Ireland a couple summers ago, and today I just have to share a few with you.
These are from a lovely abandoned church I spotted while driving with my friend through the oh-so-green countryside. With the enthusiasm of a girl who’d been dreaming of visiting Ireland her entire life, I begged them to pull over so we could explore. They laughed at me and obliged.
It is a beautiful, solitary place somewhere between Shannon and Killala. Although cars rushed by outside, inside the walls silence reigned. The roof was long gone but the headstones remained, wonderfully weathered, their etchings still readable after all these years.
I wanted to know the stories behind this place. Who built it? Who had worshiped here? Why had it closed down? But there were no signs to explain such things, no little museum or obliging curator to fill in all the details. Instead I wandered, trailing my fingers over the ancient stones, smiling at the perky roses clambering over the rock walls. I read the names: Deirdre, Seamus, Thomas, and felt glad that they had lived. That once this building had welcomed those who worked the land, married and bore children, gossiped in the local pub. It was nice to know there had once been life here.
It was my first stop in Ireland, and the perfect introduction to a gorgeous land steeped in fairy tales and heartache, legend and simplicity.
Thanks for visiting Ireland with me this morning. I hope you have a beautiful weekend and find time to cheer and comfort your heart as you face whatever is going on in your life right now. Big hug and much love. 🙂