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On Dublin

Kaylie Padgett
May 1, 2016

Dearest Dublin, 

I’ve been resistant on writing this post, putting it off and off until, quite literally, the last possible minute. I left you early Tuesday morning and am still trying to process that. I know that this isn’t the end - there is still so much of the city to explore, more areas of Ireland I haven’t been in awed by yet. But for now, goodbye has come and gone, and these things are always bittersweet. 

In the face of being a more gratitiuous and open person - not quite resolutions for 2016, but definite guidelines to hopefully shape my year - I owe you so many thanks. 

We have spent the last four months together and you treated me well. I have so much love for you - the cobblestone streets in Temple Bar, the crisp air around St. Stephen’s Green early in the morning, the lilting voices that tell me cheers and thanks a mil. We have had such good times here, in both big and small ways. 

I tried to keep lists of the things that I loved the most: the light that shines into our living room in the morning, warming the particular corner of the couch; alternatively, the light that shines into my bedroom in the late afternoon; a sunny day in St. Stephen’s Green, everyone spread out on the grass; the bookshops - what they hold and what they do; the price of tea and the practice of drinking it; the streams of people headed to the city center at eight in the morning; perseverance on rainy days; free museums; strangers who smile at you when you sit next to them on the bus. 

These are just the smallest things, tiny moments remembered. My favorite days with you were Tuesday afternoons, out of class at half noon and free to wander. I visited every art museum in the city on these Tuesdays, perused the nooks of the Secret Book and Record Store, sat at the canal if it was sunny and watched the swans. 

You taught me how to navigate a city - though, albeit, a small city, but I did just fine in London and Paris and I’ll chalk that up to your help. You also taught me the best way to tilt your umbrella when passing through a crowd so you don’t whack anyone in the face, how to stop and appreciate a busker (but keep an eye on your belongings while doing so), how to elbow your way through a crowd and order a drink at a bar. 

I found things that I wanted out of life in you - cities and people and things, the never-ending list of things to do, from poetry readings to comedy nights to silent discos to exhibitions on stamps. I fell in love with the way that you made me feel - full of potential, possibility, perspective. There was always a bus or a train or just my legs, waiting, willing to take me wherever I wanted to go. 

You gave me so many good moments - the first sunny day in April, sitting on the canal and enjoying the warmth on my back; watching Amelie at the Lighthouse cinema on Valentine’s Day, a room full of people giggling along; the Dublin Flea Market on Sunday afternoons, perusing the stalls and stalls of things. 

You were so, so good to me. I can only hope that I was as kind and open to you back. Thank you for all that you gave, taught, welcomed. 

See you soon, 

Kaylie (Dublin 6) 

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