County Tipperary is good for the soul.
Each part of Ireland I’ve visited so far has some unique thing going for it. I think Tipperary’s specialty is serenity.
I believe the fields here are greener than anywhere else in Ireland. The soil is pure black and full of nutrients. The growing season is long and the cows are happy. Coming home to Tipperary calms me, even though I couldn’t really say my life in Waterford is hectic or stressful.
I think it just reminds me of Cape Breton. The fields with the mountains in the background – the farms and the cows – the neighbourly neighbours. Coming home to Tipp makes me feel, on some level, like I’m coming home to Cape Breton.
It helps that one of my dearest friends from home married Patrick’s brother. In that sense, I really can come home to a piece of Cape Breton in Tipp. My sister-in-law and I have a shared history and grew up in the same place. We can stroll through the fields and reminisce when we’re missing the island, or catch up on the latest gossip – making it almost as if we never left. Knowing my daughter has an auntie who will help instill her sense of place in Cape Breton also calms me.
I love visiting the family farm. The puppies are eight weeks old and bounding around the place, trying to imitate their hard-working father. The cows are getting heavy with calves and will be giving birth over the next few months. There is an even greater sense of calm on the farm for now, before the calving begins.
It was wonderful taking a Saturday afternoon walk through the Kennedy fields this past weekend. Even though it started to rain, and even though it was bone-chillingly cold out, the beauty and stillness of the place made it worth it.