When I was a little girl my mom used to recite this little rhyme whenever we pulled into the driveway after a trip.
“Home again, home again, jiggity jigg…Home again home again to roast a fat pig”. I have no idea where it came from but to me it is the language of return. I have been reciting it all morning.
Yesterday Max and I opened the door of our house and returned home after an amazing two week voyage across the Atlantic. I had fully intended to post pictures and write from rural Ireland but the closest thing I found to wifi was a pair of digital walkie talkies that my brother had packed. Amazingly the internet cafes in Ireland all close by 5 or 6pm and so I found myself frustratingly and blissfully unconnected…
The last two weeks were full of wonderful adventures and some fabulous experiences which I hope to write about now that I am home and settled.
For two weeks my entire family (Mom, Dad, brother Sean, sister-in-law Jen, nephew Jack, and of course Maxidoodle and I) ambled through Southern and Western Ireland in a celebration of my parents 40th anniversary. Over 40 years ago, they had come to Ireland on their honeymoon and wanted to celebrate the life they had built by taking their family back to the place where they had started it.
And so we went. All seven of us. In two big cars we drove all around–making our way from Dublin in the East to Cratloe–a tiny village in County Clare where we had rented a house for the second week: Max and I with mom and Dad. Sean and his family in another. Sean and I chattering away on the walkie talkies as though we 10–telling jokes or jointly navigating–pointing out scenes the other might have missed. When we all drove smushed in one car, Sean would roll down the window everytime we saw cows so that we could all moo as loud as we could and try to make the cows look at us. Such is a Casey family vacation.
Max and Jack loved each fiercely and annoyed each other greatly. It was a lovely reminder of my childhood. I am glad that Max is developing the kind of relationship with his cousin that most people only experience with siblings. The kind of relationship that Sean and I experienced. Of messy love and envy and joy. Of invading each others space and drawing new boundaries over and over again.Of loving each other despite everything. Of unending forgiveness.
And along with all the giggling, the laughing so hard I cried, and the teaching of children, there was long stretches of nothing but the wind and the Irish countryside. I found myself often speechless. No inner monologue, no outer dialogue–just breathing and observing and taking it all in. Such long stretches of mindfulness was a miracle that defies description.
We all came on this trip looking for different things. Escape, connection, adventure, renewal, healing, a glimpse of something we had always wanted to see. And like all journeys we came away with different and unexpected gifts: humility, silence, peace, friendship, renewed sense of silliness. Dad learned he can’t control everything–as much as he tries. I learned that I can peacefully be with my family and that I won’t get lost or consumed by their strong world views which differ from mine. Max learned that its not all about him.
But now, we are back. Happily back and settling into our routine. There are clothes to be cleaned, work to be done, friends to catch up with. So much happened in our little world while we were away. But even as we joyfully dive back in, I know I will return time and time again to the peaceful and silly voyage we just took. I know it will feed my soul. I know that I will do things a little bit different because of what I learned on the wild Irish coasts or the person I discovered inside of me when there was no one to talk to but the wind.