We are still in the neighborhood of Bantry, on a retreat center/farm that is run by two good friends of Tim and Sandra's. It is good, with pregnant cows, a jumping pony, a cat with a boxer's jaw and some very nice dogs. And so many nasturtiums.
Thanks to everyone who wrote helpfully about places that we could look into farming on or living in. We hope to stay here for the next few weeks, and then look forward to seeing some very good friends who are about to be in the neighborhood.
Bantry is very charming...not as touristy as Kilarney, quite tiny, with plenty of friendliness and pubs all over. Last Sunday we went to the last night of the Chamber Music Festival, and it was fantastically Kronos Quartetish in sound and completely fancy in look, taking place in the rich, bayside, gardened and marbled and velvety Bantry House. The last piece was played with candlelight coming down from the chandelier. Mmm.
We unfortunately cannot post any pictures because I lost our card reader. (Shortly before losing our phone, though happily that found us again, through a very kindly Irish medium.) In lieu of actual pictures, I can quickly tell you about a few of the colors and patterns around us lately...
But sounds: the gong at the beginning of sitting meditation (did I mention that this is also a meditation center, right here on this farm?), the horseshoes against the road as the farmers' daughter takes her pony out for performing
There are windmills that turn in the valley beside us, and all we can see are the very fingertips of the blades as they go slowly round. The ubiquitous nasturtium are going to seed, their little plump lumps begging to be pickled in a caper kind of way. The thyme is struggling to take a stand in the herb terraces, and the calendula is bursting and crowding in orange and yellow.
And the rain. When first we arrived in Ireland there was very little of it, but now it is with us several times a day, streaming down the sides of the polytunnel (in American English "hoop house" - like a greenhouse made of plastic), thumping rooftops, huddling the sheep.
And the sheep are everywhere, just as you hear that they ought to be in Ireland.
Anyhow, I ought to run. I would like to leave a longer message, with reflections on our just-passed four month anniversary here, but there just isn't the time. Soon I will try to be in town and use a computer at a cafe, but for now, we miss and love all of you, and oddly, being in Ireland makes us far more homesick, I think, than we were before. But we are still happy to be traveling.
With unedited love,