I’ve been reading books written by people who lived on The Great Blasket, for years. I can’t get enough of them. I’ve dreamed about being on this island and knowing where these people existed. Where they told their stories. Where they lived a life that we will never be able to replicate.
Living in the cottage where one of the writers lived, Peig Sayers. While roaming about and standing in the spots where the other great story tellers lived and roamed here. The likes of Tomas OCriomthain and Maurice O’Sullivan, and many more I’ve loved to read and get to know.
Their days here were spent working to survive. And living together, knowing one another, like most of us don’t do anymore.
I miss this life I never had.
My life here quickly became island life, in just a matter of moments.
We were shown to our cottage where I hope and pray I get a feel of Ms. Sayers. Where the wind may very well bring her to me on the current of my dreams tonight. I’ll wait, eagerly, for her to visit.
Meanwhile, we were settling our things into her welcoming home and I saw someone cup their eyes to the window with their hands, to get a glimpse into this cottage many of us are hopeful to exist in. Even if only so briefly. I opened the top half of the front door and welcomed them. They were surprised. Who knows, maybe they were hoping for a visit from Peig as well! They were pleasantly surprised when I welcomed them in, and husband, standing within added his welcome. We ushered them in. Kate and Steph were from England and were happy to see the cottage, even more so to be welcomed in. And like that, the magic I hoped to experience-bloomed. I was living the island life where friends came to talk and while away a part of the day. To share the news and ask for a story.
And didn’t Kate and Steph ask for a story? They did indeed. I was nearly brought to tears when they asked for a story or a song in the tradition of old as we talked about those ways we all wished for. I told them I wouldn’t suffer them with a song but I pulled two story books from my rucksack and gave one to each of them. The surprise shown brightly from their smiles and eyes, as the asking was done by way of saying it’s what would have been done when one would come to visit with Peig. They, in turn, were made as happy as I was for the asking. How grand a moment in life to be standing in Peig Sayers cottage and reminisce about giving or receiving a story, the very thing that she had given the world. We parted friends and grateful for the cottage that gave us a hint, such a gracious hint, of these moments we miss.
The day is beginning to tire. I have my cup of tea by my elbow. I have walked the island, been on the White Strand, kept company by the barking of the seals, sat with new friends outside my door. I will put down my pen now, I have things to do.
As the wind blows and curls around this cottage tonight I think wind howl to me! Share the stories you carry and keep alive while waiting for the listening ear. I’m listening! Tell me! Tell me all!
I am here. I am listening.
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