St. Patrick’s Day Contest Entry: Once Irish, Always Irish

In Win A Trip to Ireland by TonyLeave a Comment

I come from an all-American family.

My father is a Texan, complete with cowboy hat, boots, belt buckle, and handlebar moustache (it’s true, I can show you pictures).  My mother grew up on a farm in Kansas, and is the epitome of small town, homespun values.  I have two younger brothers and one older sister, and we grew up in a household of American football, apple pie, and Southern iced tea.  And yet, from the earliest of ages, myself and all three of my siblings found ourselves conscious of a stirring of the soul.  It was sated only in books of far off places, of rolling green hills and magic, and my poor parents watched from the sidelines as we became full-fledged, out and proud book worms, geeks, and history buffs.  My older sister’s fascination with the histories of England and Ireland soon spread to the rest of us like a wildfire.  It was a constant source of frustration for my long suffering parents, who had to put up with children who snuck thick tomes with yellowed pages to the dinner table every night, or stayed up late on a school night, reading with flashlights.  But the fire was lit in us before we were even born, and it came as no surprise to us to find that our family tree told us what we already knew: our blood ran as green as the Emerald Isle.
Now, I have a 9 year old daughter of my own, and (through NO fault of my own) she is absolutely obsessed with all things Irish.  Her recreation time is used practicing her Irish dance, her teddy bear wears a traditional Irish dress, and she begs to learn Gaelic.  Boy band posters do not grace her walls; a famous Irish actor smiles down at her as she reads, writes, draws, and listens to Irish folk music on her MP3 player.  Ireland is a very real presence in her life, a place far away that is close to our hearts.

I’m a single mom, and a professional artist.  I love my trade, but naturally, every dollar is carefully pinched.  An opportunity like this would mean the world to us.  If I won this trip to Ireland, I would take my daughter back to the place of our ancestors.  I want to see the cities, of course; I would absolutely love to see some of the architecture and art of Dublin and Galway!  However, our fondest dream is to spend time in the small towns, interacting and connecting to the beautiful Irish people.  We want to lay our hands on stone castles that have stood the test of time, and lie in fields of green at night, waiting for the fair folk to appear. It would be a spiritual journey for us, a time of laughter and peace, the feeding of a flame that spreads to each consecutive generation.  We are proud of who we are!  In the words of one of my daughter’s favorite songs,

My heart is in Ireland; it’s there I long to be.
Her hills and her valleys are calling to me.
Though born in this land, my heart is in Ireland.
The land of the old folks is calling to me.

Go raibh maith agat.


Authentic Ireland specializes in building customized tours for you to enjoy Ireland, Scotland, England and Wales. We’ve recently wrapped-up this year’s competition to win a trip to Ireland, go check out the entries! Can’t wait until our next competition for your Ireland vacation? Head to our website for more information on our tours and travel packages!

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