At dusk, after a day of a castle visit, a car rental delay that led to an amazing dinner in Swords, and then gaining a handle on driving the left side of the road, we headed to our lodging. The final hour we drove on several back roads into west central Ireland. We iterally made dozens of turns off very narrow, ostensibly two lane roads (which seem about 2/3 the size of American roads). A large buck darted across our headlights and bumped our Adrenalin the last few kilometers. Fortunately google maps was accurate and eventually put us in the correct woodsy driveway, where we met one of our hosts, Rachel, with whom we had a nice visit before retiring.
The place was exquisite. A spare, hand built, barely-two room wood cabin, with a curtain separating the bedroom, and a shower/toilet in a separate 4 x 4 sq. shed, connected by pebble walkway, vine-covered trellis, and lit by tea candles. In the tidy Thoreau-like cabin, was a sink, small fridge, and range top at one end. A simple wooden table, two chairs and a small cozy sofa were already warmed by a wood stove in the corner at the other end. We added a few chunks of oak and peat, and with a down comforter one the bed the place was toasty, smelled delicious, and offered a perfect balance to the cool, misty Irish evening. Within a few minutes we could feel in the air that this was a gem of a place. Daisy, one of two 15 lb. greeting dogs, settled to bed on our porch stoop, guarding us into the morning light.
We each savored a warm tea, read our books by the stove, and travel weary, headed to sleep. I woke to a feeling of vital, calm comfort in the middle of the night, wrote a note of appreciation to a friend, and returned to sleep.
In the dawn light we discovered a “wild garden” wonderland: Berries everywhere were bursting, green and red apples were on the trees. Small other unidentified fruits were on other trees, flowers all along the paths. A greenhouse was out back. Lush greenery was in control, and seemed to be in a happy symbiosis with the human built structures. A tree was afforded priority to grow through the small porch covering where a hammock and cozy reading chair awaited the chance to recharge body and mind. As I walked back to the cabin from the shower, Brendan, our other host, greeted me beaming with a big grin, his arms loaded with more apples than he could handle, and invited us to join him for breakfast, offering porridge and coffee, which we happily accepted. I breathed a breath of gratitude; it had been a great trip so far, the sun was just rising, and it was already a magical day...