Today I spent a good hour in a graveyard. Now, if I was back home, this wouldn’t be a strange activity for anyone to do, as there is absolutely nothing fun to do in the QC, so my friends and I sometimes walk around graveyards while talking about the five men in our small-ass town. Ergo, it’s kind of weird that I’m in the “big green city” spending my free time in a graveyard. As a matter of fact, going to this particular graveyard was on the top of my bucket list for my study abroad.
This is my third time in Ireland, so it’s crazy that I had never been to Glasnevin to visit Michael Collins’ grave until now. For those of you who do not know, Michael Collins is my favourite historical figure of all time. If I had the choice of dinner with Bono and Mick Collins, I’d pick Mick Collins. That’s how much I love Michael Collins. Not only was Michael Collins a boss, but a history project I did on him in high school not only helped me visit Ireland for the first time, but opened up previously closed doors to college, from which many great opportunities for me have spawned from. My project on Michael Collins not only helped me to realise my passion for Irish history, but also my passion for writing, which is the subject I am currently at school for.
Whilst I have visited Michael Collins’ birth home, the place where he was assassinated, and where he lived and worked; it was surreal for me to stand at his final resting place. His grave (as visible in the picture below) was covered in fresh flowers, notes, and flags from visitors around the globe. It’s paramount how one person’s life can still affect those living almost a century later. Michael Collins was killed during the civil war and never lived to see peace in Ireland but his life inspired many others to create change for themselves. When it comes down to it, in the end, you’re not the money you make, or the fame you hold, what matters is the stories you leave behind for future generations to grasp hold of for inspiration to create change in the future. Every person will face times in their life when they are forced to take action, and I hope when I am one day faced with that I will have at least half of the courage that Michael Collins had to create change in my world.
In the past few weeks, I have also been able to catch up with friends visiting in Ireland, as well as visit the monastic sites of Glendalough, Clonmacnoise, and the seaside town of Bray. Both monastic sites were incredible. Although in ruin, these ancient sites still stand today even after the pillaging of vikings and English soldiers. Glendalough was mildly miserable to be honest; it was snowing and my winter coat is not waterproof. Clonmacnoise was beautiful (after the rain cleared up and my coat dried). It’s situated near the shannon river, which I desperately want to go paddle boarding on during the Spring (I don’t know if you can do that, but I’m gonna try). One of the standing archways in a church ruin at Clonmacnoise is called the Whispering Archway, because if you whisper into one end of the archway, you can hear the other person whispering on the other side. This was done during one of the plagues so that the monks could give confessions without possibility of contamination from the plebeians.
Last Sunday I went on this really great hike from Bray to Greystones. It started off miserable and raining like everyday in Ireland starts off, but as we were climbing the mountain path the rain let up and we were able to see tons of gorgeous rainbows over the ocean. I was hoping to see some adorable wildlife such as seals, Bono, or maybe an array of hedgehogs, but we didn’t, so the search continues. This trip was also particularly great because I got to eat some amazing food. We went to a tapas restaurant, and I had paella for the first time and it changed my life. That stuff is amazing, and apparently I like seafood now.
That’s about it, nothing too crazy that
I feel comfortable putting up on the internet has happened. This weekend I’m catching up with friends on the other side of the country in Sligo, and next weekend we venture into Northern Ireland!