County Cork

County Cork

I have returned home from a fantastic weekend adventure to the city of Cork.

We arrived in the second largest city in Ireland (second only to Dublin) late Friday night and headed straight out to a local pub. After a couple rounds of significantly cheaper drinks than Dublin (come ON Dublin, you’re killing me) and some complimentary sandwiches (a lovely deal arranged by our hostel – Sheila’s) and some great conversations with some cools guys that run the International Society, the group headed over to a club. A night club full of 40+ somethings. Initially a little confused, we embraced the older scene, downed some Jameson, and danced the rest of the night away to hits from the 50s, 60s, and 70s!

Blarney Castle

The next day we explored Blarney Castle, home of the famous Blarney Stone (hell yes, I dangled upside down to kiss that thing for some good luck!) It was truly beautiful and we had a blast climbing up the extremely narrow and hazardous staircase to get to the best and highest view I’ve had of Ireland so far. It was a bright and sunny day, too, and we basked in the light at the top of the castle.

Cork Gaol

Next up was a tour of Cork Gaol (the county jail). I’m honestly getting a little tired of going on jail tours. Cork’s jail was less smothered in violent history that Kilmainham Jail. It imprisoned the poor and a lot of people that committed small crimes just to get something to eat inside the jail walls during the Potato Famine in the 1840s and early 1850s. Caroline, Lauren, and I linked arms the whole time for warmth. Ireland’s not big on interior heating…that might be one of my only complaints and it also probably factors into the excessive drinking.

Me, Lauren, and Caroline at the top of Blarney Castle - post Blarney Stone kissing

Saturday night, we feasted on Indian food and wine on our hostel floor and spent a few hours philosophizing about life, relationships, artistic expression, personalities, family dynamics…you know, light conversation! This is honestly one of the greatest parts about my experience in Ireland so far. I have found two girls that make my mind spin and steady at the same moment. We have these incredible conversations and then put on dresses and head out to dance the night away fifteen minutes later.

Cobh

Cobh

Sunday, we traveled to Cobh (formally known as Queenstown which was formally known as Cove). This is the most beautiful town I have seen since being here in Ireland. It was a baby blue day and the sun was beaming off the rainbow colored buildings. Cobh was the final departure point for the RMS Titanic, so we wandered through a Titanic museum before soaking in the sun at the top of the hill outside St. Colman’s Cathedral. We topped off the day with a tour of the Old Jameson Distillery in Middleton. I must say…whiskey is my favorite. Caroline and I indulged in two, made friends with our female tour guide (Go, Women Whiskey Connoisseurs!), and got our second drinks complimentary.

Cobh by the Sea

Cobh by the Sea

The many colors of Cobh

This weekend I finally felt a surge of rebirth that I was afraid was ending for me. But as I sit here on this hazy Tuesday afternoon with the sunlight streaming in through my window curtains, I feel almost silly. It’s not just my mouth that smiles now, it’s my chest, it’s my legs, it’s my shoulders that are smiling, too. I am realizing the energy I thought had been swept away is still here and that it is not stagnant; it is swirling.

I’m back in this place where when I listen to a song, I literally feel it and become a note in the song, twisting and turning around with all the other notes. I’m not the composer. I’m not the entire melody. But I am meeting these other notes as I spin around and some of them ring like chords when we play together. And even though I am not the entire song, I feel so powerful. I feel so strong. I don’t doubt my place or my timing or my existence. I feel worth being a part of the rhythm.

That’s all for now. I’ll leave you with an Irish blessing.

May you always walk in sunshine.
May you never want for more.
May Irish angels rest their wings right beside your door.

Cheers, Meg

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