Journeying to Ireland

Previously, I’ve shared how I went there a woman and came back a child with my eyes full of the clouds coming over the mountains.

Going through letters from England, now to myself, I found some further thoughts on my three journeys to Ireland that took me halfway home but all the way to where I needed to be.

Copyright 2012 by DM Denton

Copyright 2012 by DM Denton

♣ A spring Sunday in Dublin, Christ’s little brides happy to celebrate with a meal at McDonalds
♣ From coast to coast, covered in cowslips and folksongs
♣ Not a limerick heard, not even in its place where we stayed to hear a harp’s angel
♣ Bumping along in coaches with windows steamed and destinations , like the weather, constantly changing
♣ The mystery of alpine flowers on the Burren’s stony paradise
♣ Orchids not for picking
♣ Layers of streets, a lunch of mussels and beer, and buying old postcards in Galway
♣ Thoughts swept away by the cliffs of Moher
♣ Secluded coves with sandy beaches
♣ The mile long dream of Dingle, being Ryan’s daughter, tea with Peggy and tales of Gregory Peck
♣ Shrine at Slea head, the edge of the world
♣ A ring in Kerry that never broke its promise
♣ Starlings descending on Killarney
♣ Muckross magic in mossy woods, botanical gardens, mist shrouded mountains and mirror-clear lakes
♣ Rhododendrons and fuchsias wilder than anywhere else would allow
♣ The meeting of the waters and differing reasons for being there
♣ Miles and miles of freedom on a bicycle
♣ Airy woods of oak and ash and silver birch, feathery fern, lichen dripping and moss imagining a smaller world
♣ Fields of gorse and heather blending yellow and purple
♣ Sunshine and rain breezing in and out, taking turns to create the artist’s view
♣ Water, water everywhere, all around and in-between
♣ Sudden cascades and corners of serenity
♣ Train station benches turned for looking the other way
♣ A cottage for a week, stray cats at the door, peat burning slowly and sweetly, wild mushrooms and blackberries for breakfast, lunch and dinner

Copyright 2012 by DM Denton

Copyright 2012 by DM Denton

♣ A thousand welcomes from new friends who would never be old
♣ Not a day or night without a smile and a song
♣ So much more to remember than forget

And so I return, again and again.

And as a bonus, from St. Patrick’s ‘Breastplate’ Prayer:

I bind unto myself today

The virtues of the starlit heaven,
The glorious sun’s life-giving ray,
The whiteness of the moon at even,
The flashing of the lightning free,
The whirling wind’s tempestuous shocks,
The stable earth, the deep salt sea,
Around the old eternal rocks.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Diane on Dingle Beach 1983

Diane on Dingle Beach 1983

©Artwork and writing, unless otherwise indicated, are the property of Diane M Denton. Please request permission to reproduce or post elsewhere with a link back to bardessdmdenton. Thank you.


14 thoughts on “Journeying to Ireland

  1. Thank you for introducing me to Mary Black, Diane!

    Ireland seems to be beckoning me recently, almost as strongly as Norway has been for years – I have ancestors from both places. Tim & I stopped at an Irish import store last weekend and he picked out a driving cap made of Irish wool in Ireland. (He has a little more Irish ancestry than I do.) Last year we went to a St. Patrick’s Day parade and plan to go again this weekend.

    I see a trip to Norway AND Ireland in the not-too-distant future. Thanks for helping to whet my appetite with your wonderful memories!


  2. Oh Diane I just love, love, love all of this post! Your notes on Ireland are a poem in themselves. And the song is just goosebump stuff. Her voice always brings tears to my eyes and touches every nerve end. It evokes a kind of happy melancholy if that makes sense. This is all simply wonderful. Lots of love ❤ xxx


    • Thank you, Christine! With so much going into finishing my novel right now, I really couldn’t get it all together into a poem … therefore,the poetic listing method! 🙂 This version of ‘Song for Ireland’ sung by Mary Black has always been one of my favorites, but I hadn’t listened to it for quite a while. I just couldn’t stop listening – just because of that “happy melancholy”, which makes sense to me! But, in a way, that is Ireland at its best as an inspiration and unforgetable experience and memory. ♥ and hugs!


  3. What a lovely post, Diane, with so many treasured memories, along with your photo! You really make me want to visit Ireland now and hopefully, someday, I’ll have the chance! This has been the best St. Patrick’s post I’ve seen! Thanks for sharing! Hugs! ♥ xo


    • Thank you, Lauren. I KNOW you would love Ireland – I’m so thankful I had the chance, but of course, that chance came at just the ‘right’ moment! And one that I can relive over and over. The top of Irish blessings to you! XO ♥ (By the way, I don’t have any Irish blood in me, that I know about anyway!)


  4. Diane,

    It seems I’m always ‘on the run’. The hours fly by and there is always so much more to do
    but when I come to this beautiful place the world slows. I forget the ‘must dos’ and just
    enjoy this haven you have created.

    Thank you!!



    • Thank YOU, Sarah! I am so touched that my writing and work helps life to slow down for you. I think that’s why I love writing so much (even when it’s frustrating …) – it does make one pause, look, think, feel, examine … and just let be. It has its own rhythm and time frame. At least, I know I can’t really hurry it. I just have to make space for it. Your writing is always a beautiful pausing place for me, too. Blessings, hugs and ♥


  5. What an extraordinary and outstanding post on this very special day,Diane !!! You are so thoughtful,my friend ! Loved everything in it ! Your well cherished memories which are like verses,the video link with the song for Ireland, and last but not least the beautiful photo of yours !!!
    Best wishes,


    • Thank you so much, Doda! I’m so glad you enjoyed the post … My memories of Ireland are some of the most precious of my life and it makes me happy to know I can share them and add some of those blessings of smiles and song to a few moments of others. XO


  6. What a lovely memory, that is beautiful, as is the song,,, All those lines make the story of an everlasting experience in a country so well loved by all who ever visited it 🙂

    My father’s fav. country it was, we always had Irish music at home and I remember arriving in the port of Dublin. The red haired kids on the quay who looked mean but were nice 🙂 The big pilar, a statue (that later was blasted) . And so much to go on… xx


    • Thank you so much, Ina! Isn’t that song just beautiful? – Mary Black is a beautiful lady and singer. I just adore the really raw Irish traditional music. For the most part, the way St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated in the US does not really reflect the Ireland I experienced. My ex and I went three times (to Southern Ireland) … the first was a coach tour (flew there), the second and third we went over on the ferry from Pembroke, Wales (odd, that I live in the Town of Pembroke now), traveled on land by coach and train to a cottage we rented just west of Killarney. Actually, the third time, my ex did some tree felling work for the owner of the cottages, so we got it for free! Yes, you can’t help but love the ‘kiddies’ in Ireland! I remember seeing moms stopping and talking in Killarney with 5 or 6 little ones in tow who were so preciously well-behaved! And I will never forget the little ones begging in Dublin, right in the main shopping district. Like something out of Dickens – but, I hope that doesn’t happen anymore. XO ♥


    • Thank you, Peter! Just going through letters that I’d written to my mom about my Ireland travels brought it all back to me. And, yes, I’m so glad for that photograph. Hope you got a chance to listen to Mary Black’s recording of ‘Song for Ireland’ – it’s one of the most beautiful tributes to this country full of simple beauty and complex contradictions.


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