01 May 2012

Ireland @ Easter

Sheep, castles, churches, pubs, rain, water, magic and green, green everywhere.

The sheep were spray painted, red or green, probably markers, maybe vaccinations.

 Not eating a lot of meat has never had much to do with a boycott against animals for me. It's always been about just not liking meat. But lamb on the other hand has always tempted my palette, lamb and veal actually, baby sheep and baby cows. I might cringe if someone reminded me the innocents were being slaughtered, but in Ireland, organic living, farm to table, means eating lamb, ideal population control. I ate the best little lamb of my life in the Castle in Cong and the second best in The Quay's Pub Irish stew.

The churches were old and full, especially on Easter Sunday, the Galway Cathedral.

When I arrived on Good Friday, the pubs were shut down, closed, the highest holiday of the year, but the pubs were full on Easter Sunday; the Irish know how to celebrate a resurrection. 
When I tweeted that we were headed from Cong to Galway, a local replied to my tweet with "haven't you heard, Galway is closed." I respected that tweet in the same way I like to post that the Isle of Palms is offering free beer on summer weekends.

We roamed around the Ashville-esque little town of Galway at the Easter street festival complete with organic food vendors, bicycles and artwork.

The rainy mist created a magical haze convincing me that I'd find a pot of gold down every narrow dirt road, at the top of every croagh, and at the end of the rainbow over the mountain range where we stumbled upon the only fjord in all of Ireland, Killary.

The water surrounds the rural little green island. And the water falls from the clouded sky, once an hour, once a day, once in a while, all the time. Ireland is environmentally green, organic, local first, unprocessed. A truck with a sign that read, "fueled by vegetable oil" was leaving a farm in Cong. Green, every shade from lush green pastures to deep green woods, the green of the surface color of water from a holy mountain view.

Despite all these aesthetic delights, ordinariness reverberated through my synapses. I expect from travel that somewhere there is something that I haven't seen yet, or done yet, but when I look around what I notice is everything is the same. They all sing to the same American songs sung by middle aged men in cover bands who also all sing "Galway Girl."

They all try to dance and only a few actually can. They all have an Occupy Movement. They all drink pints to forget that life is full of quizzical little quirks, the common castle company, the doorways, the dark side, the exploitation of women.

Poor Ireland...