My friend, Frances, is 91 going on 20. Small, she walks straight and tall. Her white hair waves up adding the illusion of height. There's an air of European royalty about her, and a twinkle in her eye. She's quick to laugh - fun to be with. People fight for her company. She's Irish, and as perpetually positive as Ireland is perpetually green. To quote her, "Oh, how I love the mystery of life."
Would that we could, I'd take her to Ireland. We'd drive on the left in a small car, manage the roundabouts, shake our heads at those paying no attention to the "Do Not Overtake" (don't pass signs), and puzzle over "Traffic Calming" (slow down).
This time of year the dewy air is scented with daffodils, pink and white blooms of flowering trees, yellow forsythia, and brightly colored primrose near the deep green ground cover, the deep green that is Ireland. On cloudy days the green is even darker.
Stacked white stones mark fence lines and gardens. Extracting stones from the ground is akin to dentistry, earth heaves them slowly. A miniature house of stone with a thatched room sits among the organized rocks testifying to a slow, labor intensive time. To some, the good old days.
Over shepherd's pie or Irish stew, lamb either way you look at it, and a pint at a local pub, we'd celebrate Saint Patrick's Day thankful he drove the snakes out. We'd see if they play Country Western to celebrate - Willie Nelson, or have gone strictly native this year. Either way, we'd have a bloody good time!
Copyright 2006 Red Convertible Travel Series