Thursday, December 11, 2008

The magical history tour

Today will be our last in Rosscarbery. Tomorrow we will venture north through counties Kerry and Clare, before returning to Shannon for our Saturday flight back to the States. Today is likely to be bittersweet for us.

It is amazing how life works sometimes. Long lost echoes of time drew us to Rosscarbery.

More than 150 years after they left Ireland, William Hawks and Ellen Wolfe, John’s ancestors, spoke to family and the new friends tagging along: This is my Bandon. This is my Rosscarbery. Hear the sounds we heard. Men, women and children living, working, praying, playing and laughing. Smell the turf fires burning into dusk. This is our West Cork, with green hills, churches, castle ruins and narrow, squinting roads. This is the land we once knew, with proud little towns that have risen up through sunshine and rain for hundreds and hundreds of years.

Yes, this is the place we left behind so long ago, to make a better life for ourselves and those who would follow. Don’t make too much of what we did. Just enjoy the place where we lived while you can, and remember it when you like. That will keep us living for another 150 years.

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