Extraordinary Dreams of an Ireland Traveler
Kenneth Weene, Author
Thank you Ken for sharing your story. It is so exciting to find such talented and gifted Authors to share more extraordinary dreams of yet another traveler with their own memories.
Kenneth Weene, Author
Ken's heart to share his gift with fellow authors is truly remarkable and we wanted you to see what a great author and person he truly is. Be sure to visit his web site, follow him on Facebook and view his book trailer for Widow's Walk.
Life itches and torments Kenneth Weene like pesky flies. Annoyed, he picks up a pile of paper to slap at the buzzing and often whacks himself on the head. Each whack is another story. At least having half-blinded himself, he has learned to not wave the pencil.
A New Englander by upbringing and inclination, Ken is a teacher, psychologist and pastoral counselor by education. He is a writer by passion.
You can sample Ken’s writing and check out his novels at http://www.kennethweene.com
The following is the post from Kenneth Weene as he shares his memories of Ireland:
by Kenneth Weene
We took a ride upstate, just a short overnight trip. The state in question is Arizona. It is a beautiful place, and we love living here. Our ride was to find autumn leafs — that wonderful palette nature can unleash just before the onset of winter.
Answers to two obvious questions: Yes, we do have winter in Arizona, especially when you get to the high country. Heck, we even have some decent skiing. And, no, not really; there are a few trees, even an occasional maple clothed in scarlet, but no, not really a fall display. We were disappointed.
Back home in Phoenix, where fall temperatures are in the eighties and winter snow once in a great while dusts the distant hills, I thought about our quixotic expedition. I thought and realized the force of nostalgia. Nostalgia, the word is from the Greek and combines two words, nostos a return home and algos pain — the pain of returning home: not in the flesh but in the heart. Yes, that was it; I was feeling nostalgic, nostalgic for New England, a place where fall is riotous and crisp. I was nostalgic for leafs raked and piled. I was nostalgic for the smell of them burning. New England in autumn, what a wonderful place! Has there ever been a better?
Of course there has. Every home is wonderful. Almost every human can feel that same longing, that same yearning to return. It may not be for the trees of fall, but there is something that can trigger that urge.
In the morning, before we started back to Phoenix, we had breakfast. My wife ordered pancakes; I a waffle. We didn’t discuss it, but both of us were wanting maple syrup. Of course it wasn’t the real thing; one seldom sees real maple syrup in restaurants. At least it had the taste and the stickiness. We enjoyed.
When I was younger, I never quite understood the Boston Irish and their longing. I couldn’t understand their songs—beautiful songs, but so terribly sad. I couldn’t understand their longing references to the old country or their angry references to the Black and Tan. I knew that Saint Patrick had driven the snakes from Ireland, but I had no idea why March 17 was a major holiday—far more important than Valentines or Columbus or many other days marked on the calendar.
Now I have a better comprehension. Nostalgia.
That many of the Boston Irish had never been to Ireland — forget growing up there — did not seem to matter. It was there home as surely at the blazing hills of New England is mine.
Years later I traveled to Ireland. We saw as much of the glorious land as we could in the time available. We saw some of the dramatic coast and some of the quiet countryside. We were in Dublin and had a pint (well more than one) and joined in the singing in a few pubs. We didn’t try to dance, but my toes tapped to the lively music. We visited small towns and grand old houses. We stopped to pray in stunning little churches and to meditate in the remains of small stone buildings erected so many years before.
I am not from Ireland. I have no shamrocks in my genealogical roots. Still, I must admit that I am nostalgic for that gem of a country. Tonight I shall go to sleep with a memory. It will not be of the mountains of Arizona. It will not be of the hearty hills of New England. It will be a memory of Ireland. I think it will be of a country road, a strong-set farmer dressed in tweeds, his dog quick to respond to each whistled command, and his cows — a loving, bucolic, bovine scene. As I fall off I am sure that I will hear the words I did not understand as a boy: Erin go braugh!
A very special thank you to Ken Weene for his contribution and fine story. I hope he certainly comes again with more of his creative memories.
Rosemary "Mamie" Adkins