Céad Míle Fáilte
Ireland already feels like home.
Maybe because it’s my husband’s actual home and I’m surrounded by his many siblings, aunts and uncles and his father. That definitely helps, and it’s nice to have the support of a close-knit family when you move permanently from your actual home, but I don’t think it’s the only reason.
Tipperary is our home base: where the family farm is located, where my husband’s best friends live and where our local can be found. It’s got the greenest fields I’ve ever seen and lofty mountains looming in the background. In the village, there’s never much going on – it’s one of those places where everyone knows your business. A stranger walking down the road is regarded with polite suspicion and then open acceptance once they realize who you’re married to. The folks looks out for each other.
Waterford is where we’ve moved to: where our small house is found and where my husband’s work is located. It’s a compact city with lots of great people, food and scenery. We’re close to several beaches and, being located in the “Sunny Southeast”, we apparently enjoy a bit more sun than the rest of the country (I’ll confirm this claim at the end of the year, but so far the weather has been warm and sunny, true to the title). Coming from Toronto, Waterford is a nice change. A lovely community with lots of young families.
To be truthful, Ireland reminds me of home – my actual home – in Nova Scotia, on Canada’s East Coast. I come from an island called Cape Breton. It’s a little smaller than Ireland with far less of a population.
My ancestors came to Cape Breton from Scotland in the early 1800’s and we’ve been in the same place ever since. I spent my childhood swimming in the river, picking wild blueberries with my aunts and mom and traipsing around the mountain where we lived. It was a slightly isolated way to grow up, but I loved it. Our culture hasn’t changed much since the 1800’s, either. Fiddle tunes, hay making and Gaelic singing largely defined my childhood.
The only downside to Cape Breton? The lack of work. Most of my generation left the island to make a living, just as many Irish youth are leaving now (many, ironically enough, going to Canada). Toronto was great for my career, but I never felt at home there.
So I’m happy to be here, even though it’s only been a month, and I feel at home in Ireland for many reasons. Most of all because I’m in a beautiful place with my best friend.
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