meaning: desired things
source: Max Ehrmann, 1927
“go placidly amid the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence.”
Nestled in the mountains of North Carolina is a small town with rich history. I grew up in that town just as my father, father’s father, and so on and so forth had. I say this to acknowledge how a place can take hold and deeply root itself in your life.
My hometown is very small. With no more than ten stoplights, drivers are slowed by magnificent views, unexpected curves, and the occasional cow in the road rather than five o’clock traffic. Living in the busy, fast-paced lifestyle of college, I have developed a larger appreciation for the serene life in the mountains. The mountains jut up out of nowhere, as beautiful obstructions of the sky. From here, I can see where I’ve been and where I am going, a vision enclosed in a frame of vibrantly colored spring leaves.
In just two days, I will be on a plane traveling to Ireland. Ireland, like my home, has the power to embed itself in your life. Its beauty fills the heart and reminds me of home.
When I was younger my grandfather was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. My grandparents had requested for many years that we join them on one of their yearly expeditions to Ireland. In 2006, knowing it could potentially be one of the last trips for my grandfather, my brave parents boarded a plane with a ten and twelve year old. I was young, but I soaked up every moment in Ireland. I carefully walked through the grass as to not disturb the miles of green and I posed for a picture with every animal along the way. This was just the beginning of a desire for travel and exploration.
During my sophomore year of high school, my grandfather passed away. The disease stole his person and his memory. As a farewell, my grandmother asked us to return to Ireland with her and spread my grandfather’s ashes. This second trip was an opportunity for my family to keep my grandfather’s memory alive - he had once been to each of the places we visited.
After this trip, I was enchanted by Ireland’s beauty and the meaning it held for my grandparents so intensely that I knew I would return someday. My grandparents had found a home in Ireland. Because of them, Ireland has a very important place in my heart and my memories. So, two days from now, I will board a plane back to the place which has held my thoughts for years.
Before I start classes, I will be spending time with my grandmother where she and my grandfather would spend their holidays. I look forward to feeling relaxed and at home but I know I’ll be looking forward to the opportunities which studying abroad in Ireland has to offer. Ireland holds thoughts of my grandfather which inspire me to create my own experiences in memory of him. Here’s to a trip filled with remembrance, peace, and silence. Desiderata.
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<p>Hi! My name is Kate Jones and I'm a Dramatic Arts and Performance Studies double major at UNC Chapel Hill. I am jazzed to start my study abroad program concentrating in acting this summer in Dublin, Ireland. This is my third time traveling to Ireland which should give you some insight into how much I love this country and it impact it has made on my life. I cannot wait to experience it again, but as a student this time around!</p>