I took this photo in 2015 of one of the many church yards we saw on our trip to Ireland. Unfortunately, I was too busy enjoying myself and didn’t make good notes on specific locations so I don’t know exactly where it is.
About the quote
The end of August brings changes. Changes in the weather are anxiously awaited. Other changes not so much. I prefer status quo. This quote makes change, which is actually inevitable anyway, more palatable to me.
Rivers in major cities all over the world have run green this month. Bars filled with people wearing fake beards, green top hats, and sunglasses shaped as twin four-leaf clovers. After all, with or without any Irish heritage, everyone’s Irish at least on St. Patrick’s Day.
For sure, there’s been lots and lots of craic (Irish fun) and blarney (talk that is not necessarily true, but eloquent) going on.
If you’ve read my Wednesday posts, you’ve read a lot of Irish blarney. Some words less well-known idioms and blessings, some more familiar and oft-repeated quotes and sayings of Irish humor and insight. I’m thinking some of the lessons were clearly learned the hard way.
Some believe the stone at the castle is the stone Moses struck to produce water for Israelites during their exodus from Egypt. Others believe it to be Jacob’s Pillow brought to Ireland by the prophet Jeremiah and became the Lia Fail, or ‘Fatal Stone’, oracular throne of the Irish kings.
Still others tag it as the Stone of Ezel, which David hid behind while fleeing King Saul, and brought to Ireland during the Crusades. Ultimately to be used as the Coronation Stone of Scottish monarchs and St. Columba’s traveling altar throughout Scotland.
After Columba’s death, the stone came to Ireland to serve as the Stone of Destiny, the prophetic power of royal succession.
It is known that the word Blarney itself entered the dictionary during the time of Queen Elizabeth I, when Dermot McCarthy, castle ruler, kept delaying to surrender his fortress to the Queen as proof of his loyalty. When the Queen heard his excuses, she said “Odds bodikins, more Blarney talk!”
Shortly thereafter the Francis Sylvester Mahony, an Irish bard of the early nineteenth century, wrote:
There is a stone there, that whoever kisses,
Oh! He never misses to grow eloquent:
Is all that history true? Who knows? The Irish are, after all, the world’s greatest story tellers.
Whether any of the blarney is true or not, Blarney Castle and its magical stone attract hundreds of thousands of visitors every year.
And let me tell you kissing that stone is quite a feat. First, you climb up 90+ feet inside the castle stairway then execute a back bend that would cripple a skilled gymnast.
For years a lovely plaque with the words of this fun Irish toast hung in the guest bathroom at our house. I cannot tell you how many people came out with smiles upon their faces. And, reading it always brings a smile to my face.
I’m interrupting my regular Make Me Think Monday blog for an announcement of my latest book release – CLAIMING ANNIE’S HEART.
No, I’m not turning View from the Front Porch into a promo blog for my books–it’s just this Irish love story is special to me.
Why? Because Annie’s story is set in Ireland.
And, as most of you know (if you’ve read my ABOUT ME page, that is), Ireland is my most favorite place on earth, and I’m crazy about all things Irish.
The idea for Claiming Annie’s Heart began on one of the many, many trips business trips to the Emerald Isle with my husband.
We toured an Abbey on the rugged west coast. An English doctor built the lovely place as a home for his wife and child. When they died, the doctor left and sold the home. The castle became an Abbey and girls’ boarding school. That’s the place pictured on the book cover.
As we walked the castle and fabulous gardens, I talked with the schoolgirls. My writer’s imagination kicked into overdrive with story possibilities.
On a different trip, we spent time in Belfast during the Twelfth of July Orange Order marches. If you’re not familiar with the marches, read here. To learn more of the history of The Troubles in Northern Ireland read here.
Each trip provided a very different experience, which I combined into Annie and Chad’s love story. Here’s the plot blurb:
Annie Foster remains in Ireland after boarding school to nanny a widower’s infant daughter. Five years later, she accepts the widower’s proposal.
Her first love Chad Jones, whom she believed deserted her, arrives on an undercover assignment weeks before the wedding investigating her fiancé’s connection with terrorists. He’s determined to change her mind and her heart her because he’s never stopped loving her.
Annie’s heart is torn between the man she’ll always love and the young daughter of her fiancé whom she’s promised never to abandon.
Which man will win?
To find the answer, get your copy of Claiming Annie’s Heart from one of these bookstores:
Edie Melson posted this image from her recent trip to the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, NC. The scene and the quote made me think about how much time I sit on my porch enjoying the quiet and nature all around.
It’s so peaceful listening to the hummingbirds dive-bombing the feeders and the birds chirping at the birdfeeder filled with birdseed.
I love waving to the neighbors and summer folk walking on the street and meeting them at the fence to chat.
It’s like the Shakespeare quote says, “I like this place and willingly waste my time in it.”
I don’t like to consider that I’m wasting time and I feel guilty when I willingly do nothing.
I find myself thinking of so much I should be doing instead of idling way time (…like writing) and usually get up and go to work.
What about you? Do you enjoy willingly wasting time in a favorite space or place?
Besides my front porch, there are other places where I love to kick back and relax. My favorite would be wandering around in Ireland.
I don’t even feel guilty when I do. It’s as quaint and quiet in the Irish countryside as it is on my front porch nestled in the Rio Grande forest.
After years and years of the hustle and bustle of a major urban area, I love the slower paced lifestyle offered in our little part of Colorado and Ireland. It’s what keeps us here and draws us repeatedly to Ireland.
I’m working to retrain my Type A self to bury the guilt and use the down time to recharge my creative juices.
Not an easy task, but I am improving.
What places do you love that make you want to waste time? Do you feel guilty or do you relish the time and draw rest and strength from the quiet places?