I’m very proud of my Irish heritage though I’m a true American mosaic. Talk about a people group that was abused and bounced back–if you ever get a chance to go the the Heritage Center in Skibbereen, you will get quite an education. The Potato Famine was no such thing. Food was being shipped to England while people were dying in the streets. Yet nearly all the Irishmen I’ve met (a couple bus drivers in Dublin needed therapy) have an uncommon friendliness and optimism. Even their music is usually cheerful. When it’s sad, it draws on my deepest emotions and I can’t help but be moved.
When I first arrived at Baltimore, home of the Driscoll clan, and saw the water, I laughed. It looks so much like where I live now, and nothing like where I grew up. I have always loved large bodies of water. At the lowest points in my life, I’ve found comfort in the vast expanse of something larger than my problems, and the endless slap of the waves against the shore. Water is where I weigh little, can walk on my hands, and do flips that don’t result in injury. I can be graceful in water. At our Driscoll reunion, we take boat rides past caves I’d love to explore. Ireland is a place of incredible beauty, and it’s a shame that the best we have to celebrate with in the US is green beer or corned beef and cabbage. There should be music and dancing and flowers everywhere. There should be beef and seafood so fresh that you look around for the guy selling them, and scones that taste so good it makes you wish you didn’t know carbs were bad.
About the hills: they will put some muscle on your legs. It shouldn’t even be fair that they play soccer because flat land is no challenge to the Irish. I watched some teens go up the side of a steep, rocky slope like goats. But in truth this isn’t an ad to make you want to visit Ireland. It is a tribute to the land that put the story teller in me. To honor that, all my books are 99 cents on Kindle from March 11th through the 17th. Enjoy!