Julia McCarthy visits Dingle and waits for her great grandchild to join her.
Julia was visiting An Daingean1 for the first time since she left Trá Lí 2 in 1853. The sea breeze freshened her face as she looked around at trimmed sails. She was mighty thirsty.
MacCartaigh Pub promised a glass of Guinness that she should not drink. Thankfully, it was closed. And Harrington's on Strand Street that promised fresh cut chips was closed too. She longed for fish and chips with mushy peas. She sighed as clouds closed in to pea soup and drizzle. Ah, it did, it did. 'Twas a great day to be Irish. Or a ewe.
Lucky? Define that. It's true that she had been dead well over 100 years but what did that have to do with the price of cál ceannann3? At least they were growing potatoes again.
And the roses still bloomed in May in Trá Lí. As they always did. County Kerry was home. She wasn't McCarthy Mor, but she was a McCarthy none-the-less.
She sat down to watch the sailboats and dreamt of taking back the Rock of Cashel for her clan. Nasty O'Briens4. She'd raise the black flag of Cormac5 himself and plant it on top of the tower above Cormac's Chapel for all to see, she would. Put the fear of God in them, she would.
History lingered in every forgotten graveyard, whispered from headstone to headstone, bantered between bones. Better to not listen too closely. They gossiped like old widowers. The blue lobelia blooming in the cracks listened closely but kept their secrets. Oh, the McCarthys knew how to keep secrets. They did, they did.
She cackled about that.
After a hundred years, she still guarded her secrets. Off to America they told her when the blight hit. Next boat out of Belfast, they said. Oh, she was lucky. Herself had married a Hooker. Now her great-grandchildren were all dead. Except one.
She waited impatiently. Julia wanted to show her her Eire6 land, verdant, misty, mired in muck. It was a few degrees above freezing. Almost warm. She listened to the sheep on the hills behind her and tightened her shawl.
Maybe a pint of Guinness would be okay. Half a pint? She was a teetotaller, she was. Mayhap it would be warmer inside the pub? Of that she wasn't so sure.
When would her great-granddaughter die? Ah, the church bells were tolling. Soon. Very soon. Most suredly7, this would be a great day to welcome the fruit of her womb !
Julia swore she could hear the angels singing with the gulls. What a day to be Irish!
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