Several years ago I wrote a book of essays, A Smidgen of Irish Luck, about my trip to Ireland simply because I found extraordinary where there is ordinary, engaged in conversations in the oddest places and adjusted to the inevitable raindrops like a local.
Should I be surprised that a visit to the Emerald Isle would be so meaningful?
The book took off in popularity as everyone has a bit of Irish in them and can relate to a first-timer's passionate feeling for a sense of place.
I claim no Irish roots; yet I was inspired by the music, literature and general feelings of loving life I received as a visitor.
One about-to rain - afternoon a group of my fellow travelers and I were sauntering down a Londonderry side street taking in the multitude of sights when a cheerful couple of younger men beckoned us to come inside for a pint. They talked us to pieces with stories about the history of the pub and how it was a regular stop-off for American WW II naval men when they were ashore. The walls were covered from top to bottom with memorabilia from the States. "Go, Bruins." Two hours later we were leaving old friends behind after a delightful chat. We dodged the daily pouring of rain, too.
That's the story repeated over and over of my entire three weeks in Ireland.
It's a country that I long to return for deepening my well mentally and spiritually.