In the summer of 2008, my husband and I took a trip to Scotland, Ireland, & England. Though quite a whirlwind, we brought much of it away with us.
On St. Patrick’s Day, I thought I’d share pieces of it, using a few of the many, many photos I took along the way.
If you move your cursor over top of the photos, it will tell you what each one is.
[Photos are copyright-protected. Do not use without permission.]
1) Build strong, with heart and eyes and head. What you do now may last longer than you can imagine and impact many more souls than you would ever have thought possible.
2) Use your own natural resources whenever possible.
3) Step wisely and pay attention to what’s underfoot. A path is made of more than stone.
4) A window is not only a window. Sometimes it tells a deep and meaningful story. At least it can if you want it to.
5) Books are to be valued by both writer and reader. Put your full creativity and passion into them and they will be well-loved and well-cared-for by those who follow. (These were hand illustrated over 1,000 years ago.)
6) Water refreshes the body and spirit, whether by taking it in, immersing into it, or enjoying and respecting its beauty, peace, and strength.
7) Rain may feel gloomy and it may be annoying as we go about our days, but it also brings vibrant life and calming green. No one knows this better than Ireland.
8) Whatever the language or place or temptation, there are reasons for rules and boundaries. If you cross them, do so very carefully and with due consideration for the results. (Also, when making a rule, it’s nice to be polite, and to remember they are meant to be protection from harm, not restriction from liberty.) :-)
9) Faith itself matters more than the particulars. The Celtic cross is a blend of Christianity and Paganism. They mesh beautifully in Ireland. There’s no reason the rest of us can’t do the same. Respect other faiths if you want yours respected.
10) Magic matters. The Irish wouldn’t dream of crossing down into the middle of this Fairy Circle where tree roots grew up into hill formations in a large circular pattern with a lowland middle. There are many of these in Ireland. Workers will halt a construction project before they cross into it. They will walk the edge of the hill circle, but never step down into the fairy territory. If a tourist does, they fear for his safety in days to come.
11) Never, never underestimate a woman’s ability to protect her home!
Colin O’Brien, whose built this castle with his father, was killed in battle against Oliver Cromwell’s forces. Cromwell insisted Colin’s wife, Maura, marry one of his officers because after a certain amount of time, the land would belong to the husband. Maura, not to be done out of her ownership of the land, arranged for the new husband, only days before he would take ownership, to join her at the top of the castle for a romantic evening. Somehow, he managed to fall off to his death. A resourceful woman, Maura remarried – several times – and each new husband mysteriously fell to his death just before the change of ownership. Men should well be glad that law no longer exists. ;-)
12) It makes no difference whether or not you believe in Leprechans, since they believe in you. Some will find them, some won’t. It’s all in the way you look. Not finding him, though, doesn’t mean he’s not there.
For more photos of Ireland, click on Ireland Slideshow at the top of my blog!