Coming Home

7 Mar

It has been exactly fifty-nine days since landing in Ireland but I have never felt more at home in this beautiful country than arriving at Aerfort Bhaile Átha Cliath, Dublin Airport, for the second time. After travelling to Zürich and Berlin during our reading week, I realized just how much I love this island. The friendly smiles, the comforting accents, and the green grass welcomed me home. Furthermore, after studying Irish history, I realized just how passionate and resilient the Irish are. I was eager to return to Dublin and immediately felt at home upon my arrival.

At the airport, I was greeted with a warm smile from my bus driver and loud rowdy chatter from the other passengers. Never before have I been so content on a bus. The airport shuttle dropped me off in front of the General Post Office, where the famous 1916 Easter Rising occurred. The same spot that Michael Collins, Eamon de Valera, Patrick Pearse and James Connolly rebelled against the British. This building now had a much greater importance to me. I felt connected to it as if I were born and raised in Ireland. The bullet holes in the columns seemed more prominent. On the rest of my walk home, I pondered the significance of Irish history on modern day Ireland.

In class we watched a video about Yeats’s poem, “1913.” It showcased valiant Irish figures and famous events from Irish history. The words of the poem were much clearer after my studies. I recognized the famous figures and events and understood the impact they had on this nation. It became very clear how passionate Irish people are about their home country. The Irish fought for centuries for this little island. Every time a foreigner took over the land, the Irish fought. The famous Celtic king, Brian Boru, beat the Vikings in 1014. In the 13th/14th century, Gaelic culture recovered from Norman invasion. Finally, in 1922, the Irish won the war of Independence from Britain. Their resilience is amazing. Michael Collins, Wolfetone, Robert Emmet, Michael Davitt, Charles Parnell, and Eamon de Valera are just a few of the famous men that fought selflessly for this country. And know I understand why they fought so hard. This country is special. It exudes authenticity and connects you to the past. It is truly one of a kind.

I felt proud returning to Ireland knowing I was stepping foot on a country that so many people had died for, simply out of love for their nation. Strangely, I didn’t feel this type of pride until leaving. After discussing my observations with classmates, I realized I was not alone. We all know the saying “The grass is always greener on the other side”; but I know for a fact that Ireland’s grass is the greenest.

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