March 12, 2022
It was a gentle landing after twenty-four hours in transit. Our first night at the cottage with a fire in the stove, candles lit, and Rory, the amazing musician who is renting the cottage, playing music. The perfect entry into the rhythms here in Ireland.
Of course I brought a long list of things to do and a rather fierce determination to get through that list in the two weeks here. Scheduling time to connect with friends and colleagues. Sorting out the new water pump. Getting some artwork framed. Organising a plan for cottage landscaping. Meeting with my car hire contact at Shannon Airport to book the vehicles I need for the upcoming journeys. And more.
I’ve accomplished much on that list. I’ve also had the opportunity to be reminded that fierce determination is perhaps a rhythm best left behind when I come here. And a reminder that slowing down and taking life as it comes is exactly why I come here.
In the five months since I was last here I’ve been periodically reminding my tradesman, Tom, that I hoped to also do some painting while here, painting that requires him to prep the walls. Two days after I arrived he stopped by to say hello and let me know he was off to Spain for a holiday and that the painting would be, as they say here, put on the long finger. I had also asked our plumber Declan for a list of preventative maintenance projects. Crickets.
Yet these men are two of the best in the area. And, now that covid restrictions are lifted, they are absolutely overwhelmed with work. While they haven’t tended to the cosmetic and preventative projects (Tom’s comment – if it’s not broken why fix it?), they have been absolutely responsive to emergencies like the water pump failing. Declan came over on the Saturday before I flew over, ordered the necessary part on Sunday and had the new pump installed before I arrived on Tuesday. Tom has been here twice in recent months to fix a septic system crisis. They have my back when it comes to urgent issues. The other things on the list will get done. Sometime. Things just take longer here.
I am reminded of this as, on the drive to the cottage, I pass several houses that have been under construction for years. Things just take longer here. So breathe. It will happen.
And so I’m relaxing into the Irish rhythms and sensibilities and no longer running around with my hair on fire. I chuckle at myself that it took three days. I’m also relaxing into the rhythm of deep gratitude for this humble cottage, these men and neighbors who have my back, and this land that reminds me to breathe.