Tuesday, March 16, 2010

12 Lessons from Ireland

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.]

St. Patrick's Cathedral, Dublin

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.

Stone wall in the Burren
2) Use your own natural resources whenever possible.

in the Burren, a close up

3) Step wisely and pay attention to what’s underfoot. A path is made of more than stone.

Inside St. Patrick's Cathedral

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.

Ancient texts at Trinity College, Dublin

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.

Cliffs of Moher

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.

Cliffs of Moher

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.) :-)

Celtic Cross at Kilfenara

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.

Fairy Circle

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.

Leamanoh Castle, County Clare

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!



Francesca Prescott said...

Lovely photos, Loraine. How long were you travelling? I've never been to Ireland...yet, but am hoping to go with my daughter this summer, for a riding holiday. It's something I've always wanted to do. Besides, my grandfather was Irish, so it's about time I went.

Great lessons! And there certainly was no messing with Maura!

xx Francesca

LK Hunsaker said...

Hey Cesca, it was a combined trip with Scotland and England: 10 days total with 3 in Ireland. It wasn't enough! We saw Dublin and Galway with a side trip to the Cliffs of Moher and the Burren (County Clare) and would love to go back and see more!

Dress warm and take umbrellas. :-)

It's funny ... I just went last night to fact check details of my scribbled notes and found Maura's name there. That happens to be the name of the heroine in my next book. It works well. ;-)

Anonymous said...

I have a Celtic cross tattoo. And I'd love to make the trek to Ireland some day!

(Do you think Maura might have allowed one of those men the pleasures of a wedding night beforehand??)

Unknown said...

With a last name like Conner, I'm not surprised. ;-)

My guess would be more than one, since she kept them nearly a year, I think, before protecting her estate.

Hywela Lyn said...

Beautiful pictures Loraine. I'm glad you enjoyed your visit to England, Scotland and Ireland, but it's a shame you missed out my native Wales. It has some of the most breathtaking and wild scenery in Britain and is rich in Celtic history and legend! (No, I don't work for the Welsh Tourist Board, but it does seem a shame that Wales often seems to be overlooked!

LK Hunsaker said...

Hi Lyn, our trip was a 10 day whirlwind but we plan to get back that way and I'd love to see Wales, also! If that happens, I'll have to ask for a few tips on the best places to see. ;-)