Wednesday, June 4, 2008

"Are you ancestoring, dear?"

Here is the dream of every soul tracing their Irish roots...

To make it over to Ireland, find one of the townlands and graveyards of your ancestors, and then have "a little white-haired lady with sparkling eyes" venture forth and sing "in the beautifully lilting sing-song manner that is the essence of Irish speech" the name and address of your distant cousin who lives in the village nearby.

Read John Farrow's article about one man's return to his Irish roots and just such an experience. The Auld Sod gives his account of the feelings of alienation he had in Northern Ireland as well as the welcome he received by a distant cousin in Derrycughan.

My favorite lines are: "...if your roots have grown in her rich soil, there is an unmistakable tug of remembrance, of belonging, of being among the familiar even if only in a dream handed down in the subconscious."

I can relate to this sense of belonging, though my feet have never stepped upon Ireland's shores.

Here's hoping that once they do that I'll find "a little white-haired lady with sparkling eyes" to direct me.

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