I have looked upon those brilliant creatures,
And now my heart is sore.
All’s changed since I, hearing at twilight,
The first time on this shore,
The bell-beat of their wings above my head,
Trod with a lighter tread.
~The Wild Swans at Coole, W.B. Yeats
I will be returning to Ireland in a few weeks and I’m already trying to prepare myself for the emotional impact. Ireland will always be a place I inextricably link with my mother; not only because her, our, family is there but because of the sheer joy my mother felt being there.
She loved Ireland, loved the trips we took there and spoke often of visiting one more time, even when she knew it would no longer be possible. But even then, just talking about a dream of making the journey inevitably led to reminiscing about favorite places and things and retelling of stories that made her feel connected with her family and quite simply made her happy.
My mother’s recollections were often accompanied by a quote from Joyce or Yeats, and so then mine is as well.