May you live as long as you want, and never want as long as you live. – Irish Blessing
I recall a lyric by the title of this article from a song of the same name as Tim Currey sings it near the end of the Rocky Horror Picture Show, a classic cult favourite of mine, that is playing as I write this listening to his deep tones sing the song, I am going home has meant something to me for a while.
You see, I was born in Belfast, Northern Ireland at the Royal Victoria Hospital on cold and dreary November many moons ago. Yes, I am a Scorpio, surely your not surprised.
In this journey I have been on, going to Ireland was not part of my bucket list nor part of my original itinerary. Yet when I started looking at my travel options, accommodation, and connections to others; the calling of the UK and Ireland started speaking a little louder.
There is an upside as a digital native, I do qualify for my Irish Passport, as desirable as my Canadian Passport but with upside in the UK and EU, you see I will be recognized as a citizen with full rights including the ability to work and get health care.
It’s not that I relocated; I left Ireland, I left Canada, I left Chile, I left Peru, and I am leaving Colombia. As a digital native, I will continue moving, and part of that journey will be back to Canada at some time, just not now.
I have accepted that my journey to be called home at this time. Now the time is to gain insight and understanding. So I wanted to use this article to try and share with you some insights I think apply here.
My Emerald Isle
Ireland's beautiful, lush countryside is what earned the country the nickname, “The Emerald Isle.” The island is located in the Northern Atlantic Ocean, just west of Great Britain. Ireland's only bordering country is Northern Ireland.
Being in lockdown, and a seriously good lockdown because I have and still feel safe and have been healthy. But this lockdown while it has had brief uplifting of restrictions, many of them remain or have been reactivated.
I recall the sites I saw in the first two weeks in Colombia, the depths of green. Getting out and seeing and experiencing nature has become more important to me yet I have not had the ability to practise and do that beyond the once a week grocery trip which is about 15 minutes downhill and 25 minutes uphill loaded with groceries.
Unlike other locations where citizens complain about wearing masks, I have no concern. I have had restrictions or requirements to wear a mask since March 13th, 2020 or I didn’t go outside.
That is another impact from the lockdown and a lack of ability to socialize, I am wary of strangers and will, in fact, avoid them. Prior to this avoiding strangers was not a weakness I had, that too becomes part of the journey, not back to a normal, but forward to existence as it is.
“Health and long life to you, Land without rent to you, A child every year to you, If you can’t go to Heaven, May you die in Ireland.”
- Irish Blessing
So getting to experience my emerald isle may in fact make it mean more to me than just the place I was born.
Emeralds are not the green of envy
Emeralds have long been used for their emotional and mental powers. Many believe that wearing an Emerald will provide will power, mental clarity and easing of stressed states. Emerald is also associated with providing love and fidelity, inspiration, wisdom, harmony, growth, patience, peace and abundance.
If you have been following the social posts, reading any of the written posts, or in fact listening to anything I have been saying you will know that my newly found spirituality these past 4 years is very important to me.
Going to my emerald isle may in fact aid me in my spiritual journey as the emerald holds a special power.
I see visions of an emerald ring like the one my mother had, on my finger, a ring to connect me to the power of emerald in the emerald isle. The words of growth, love, wisdom, peace resonate with me.
Perhaps this is part of my spiritual quest to go home to my emerald isle.
Spiritual Home Coming
“May the saddest day of your future be no worse than the happiest day of your past.”
– Irish Blessing
“Ireland can trace its sacred sites way back beyond the Pharaohs of Egypt and the Pyramids with built evidence in form of burial mounds like this one here at Newgrange. Which is aligned to the Winter Solstice on the 21st of December when the first rays of the rising sun follow the spiral patterns and symbols in the stones to illuminate the burial chamber at the back of the tomb.
5000 years later this perfect alignment constructed by the Celtic astronomers is still working and draws visitors from all over the world to witness the event each year. No one knows for sure the purpose of Newgrange, solar observatory, burial chamber and it is only one of 1000’s scattered throughout Ireland. Whatever their purpose, oral legends about Druids and Celtic God and Goddesses were absorbed by Christianity with many of the finest churches, abbeys and monastic sites in Ireland having pagan origins.
When St Patrick brought Christianity to Ireland in the 5th century, Ireland entered a Golden Age of Enlightenment and became known as the Land of Saints and Scholars. Impressive churches with high crosses were built at early monastic settlements like Clonmacnoise where the monks began to record the scriptures in beautifully illuminated manuscripts such as the Book of Kells, and intricately crafted metalwork items, inlaid with precious stones like the Ardagh Chalice and the Cross of Cong.
But to get an idea of the places and landscapes that inspired the celts and the saints you should try and include one of the following sacred places in your itinerary.”
Irish Quotes for Travellers:
I have been told that in almost every Irish Tavern and Pub you can find this very famous blessing, as a traveller it speaks to me as I hope it does to you.
“May the road rise up to meet you. May the wind be always at your back. May the wind be always at your back. May the sun shine warm upon your face; the rains fall soft upon your fields and until we meet again. May God hold you in the palm of His hand.”
Every Good Tavern or Pub Needs a Drink Blessing
“Sláinte chugat.” / “Good health to you.”