Monday, April 23, 2012


If I ever decide to marry for money (I've accepted that with my English/Theater major I'll never have much of my own), one of my first orders of business will be acquiring property in Howth.

On a day that started out sunny, I took the train out to the suburbs. Howth (rhymes with “both”) is a popular weekend excursion for Dubliners, offering castle ruins, cliffs, hiking trails, and delicious seafood. If you look on a map, it’s that little blob off the Irish coast.

The blob above does not adequately express how beautiful Howth is. It was cold and windy, and I walked along the water to a nearby lighthouse, watching seagulls and boats, and getting near to Ireland’s eye, a tiny little island off the coast. The town is made up of seaside houses that can't be described as anything else but quaint, and cliffs that seem to fall straight out of the pages of romantic classics.

It was a day of discovery and a reminder that this country that I’ve landed in is, actually, an island.

And it is beautiful.
Will you forgive me for repeating myself when I say that I am beginning to love this place? (Yet another place?) Because I am. Really, quite a lot.

How could you not love this, really?

Let's say that it's not because I like everywhere I go, but because I chose my countries wisely.

It's been a few days of somewhat inexplicable joy, wandering around Dublin and its outskirts. I was skyping with Sara, the Watson Fellow I met in Ubud, Bali, the other day, and we were talking about how sometimes the best way to describe how we're feeling this year is full. Things feel epic and big and emotional, and the smallest things can affect us in such huge ways, while things that used to feel so big matter so little now.

This fullness means that I spend a lot of this year tearing up at inopportune moments (I've already written about my tendency to cry on airplanes), and smiling at things that aren't funny. I teared up the other day watching parents and their teenage daughter saying goodbye at Trinity College, and I couldn't help but grin while jogging in Griffith Park last night (and I don't even like to run). But sometimes things just feel too perfectly aligned this year. I feel so full of all the newness made familiar, and it feels too big to be contained in me. It comes out in tears or smiles when I'm least expecting it, and perhaps because of the bigness that is this year, the small things it is composed of are more than enough.

The last few days have been full of small wonders--discovering a Saturday Farmers' Market in Temple Bar where I could buy pesto and fresh mozzarella, choosing a favorite Dublin street (for the record, it's Cow's Lane in Temple Bar, mainly because it's covered in cobblestones and features not only a pie place called Queen of Tarts, but also the beautiful Gutter Bookshop where employees have handwritten opinions and summaries on little index cards next to each book). I've been having toast for dinner to save up for student theater tickets, trying to work on my own Irish accent, and taking advantage of the rare pockets of sunshine.

There's enough love to go around.

Here's my current song for happy. (With hand claps). Turn it up.

I'm also putting this picture in, a picture that was taken almost exactly a year ago on one of Swarthmore's sprawling lawns. I'm putting it in just because it looks eerily like the image in the video for the song above. And it's of people who make me happy.

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