I fondly recall Ireland every time I'm out in a misty rain, or listening to Planxty, or sipping a creamy pint of Guinness. I have many reasons to long for Ireland. Galway is where I met my best friend and wife, Heather.
I miss sitting in Neachtains on a cool, Saturday afternoon with Heather, playing cards by the peat fire. I miss taking seaside strolls along the Salt Hill promenade during the warm days. I loved Thursday nights, upstairs at The Crane. We would sit, listening to the finest Irish traditional music in the world. It's also where Heather and I had our first date.
There's much I miss about Galway and of my adventures hitchhiking across the country. The truth though is that I miss the feelings of the time, I'm a sucker for nostalgia. Ireland was carefree freedom. Before meeting Heather, I didn't even care for myself. She taught me how. She gave me a reason to. That's the part I don't think about enough.
We choose our memories to dwell on. I don't consider the loneliness, the hangovers, the poverty, and the dreadful weather. I do miss Ireland, but I know it's the freedom that I miss most.
The Freedom Still Exists
I'm a husband, father and consultant, I can't run away to find the freedom again. Instead, I need to realize the freedom still exists. I work for myself, I make my own hours. And on a rainy day like when I wrote this, when the nostalgia has kicked back in, I'm free to slip away to my local pub for a pint of the black stuff.
Savor your recollections, but don't let your selective memory fool you. It was never all roses (or four-leaf clovers). Take a deep breathe and be thankful for what you have.
May the best day of your past be the worst day of your future.