The Perfect Pour

To send a liquid or loose particles flowing or falling

From one container to another, or into, over, or on to something

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 My thoughts are loose and flowing while the airplane slowly circles down to the tarmac. Emotions bubble up and I fight tears. I’m headed to the home of ancestors who left Ireland under times of starvation and death, not able to practise faith, marry legally, buy land or vote.

In the United States, these rights are considered my birthright. But the way the world is going, I may have to stand and fight to retain these freedoms. Those before me chose to leave on ships facing the western sun with hope-filled hearts.  Four generations later, I return, a legacy fulfilled and a spine built of grit.

Left behind are tales and songs of beautiful grass and hills, high cliffs and roaring surf.

My families love for Ireland remained as they endured racial slurs and menial jobs in America. Their suffering will never be taken lightly—for they built a strong cornerstone upon which my life was allowed to soar. I am truly blessed.

Once on the ground, my feet will tread a venerable path—be it dirt or cobblestone– across the Aran Islands, Cliffs of Moher, down to Dingle as we walk the Kerry Camino pilrimage. We trek across beautiful ballinskelligs with amazing beaches and visit the hermitage at Skelling Michael on a perfect day. Come along and explore rich stone age sites to Trinity College library and the Book of Kells (where my ancestors wouldn’t have been allowed).

I’ll wrap my hands around a mug of a perfectly poured Guinness at the Brazen Head, the oldest pub in Dublin, dating back to 1198. Did those before me indulge in the feel of thick foam on the tongue? Sipping Irish whiskey, my feet tap to music. Singing creates a fairy enchantment not allowing a single wallflower as we dance with each other and strangers alike. No one is shy in Ireland. Life is too short and we must live with our glasses full.

My Celtic heart warms. Welcome back home! Come over here for a hug! Amid much laughter, invisible roots plunge deep into the green grass. And there is the greatest gift of all—those who remained and endured welcome me as long-lost kin. Those who return, fall into their arms, melting away generations of separation and leaving a wellspring of love.

Back in the U.S.A., I kneel graveside, and whisper to those who worked so hard to make my life easier, “I completed the circle, because you could not.” I ken they hear and approve. Peace bridges time, flowing across oceans and distant lands, filling one heart and connecting to others. The perfect pour.

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