Leaving Ireland Behind


10.06.16  Ireland was grand.  Flying away from her on Saturday morning, I wondered if I’d ever be back.  Possibly.  Even though this was my fifth trip there and third bike tour, it’s a place I always say I could live.  I say that about New England as well, particularly Vermont or Maine.  Certain places just feel like home to me.

I’ve lived in a lot of houses over 67 years.  One time I counted up how many I’d lived in before graduating from high school, and there were sixteen between Baltimore, my birthplace, Ohio, my early childhood, and California and Colorado, back and forth.  In my first marriage, we lived in St. Louis, San Diego, Boston, Denver and Colorado Springs.  Boston was my favorite.  It felt like a homeplace that night in December, cold and raining, as we flew in for the interview.  When my mother drove out with us from Colorado the following June of 1976, two little girls strapped into car seats in the back, the city was celebrating its Bicentennial and window boxes on white clapboard historic homes were filled with red, white and blue flowers everywhere we went.  Mom stayed with me for a good part of that summer, helping us get settled.  I remember her telling me that she thought I must have lived in New England in a previous life because it suited me so well.

I always thought I might live there again.  One of the things that happens when you’ve lived in dozens and dozens of places, is that you think you can always move again.  It was exciting to go to a new place and as I look back, I think I always felt the grass would be greener.  Somewhere along the line–not that long ago actually–I knew I would not be moving back to New England.  And, certainly not Ireland.  It’s too late in my life now.

Which brings me back home, to my homeplace in Montana.  I didn’t know it would become that, back in 1996–exactly twenty years after my move to Boston.  But it most surely is.

“The feeling of being ‘at home’ is the feeling of belonging, a sense of the fitness of ‘having come down where we want to be’, as the Shaker song puts it.”  –Feels Like Home by Cheryl Moch


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