I wasn't sure if and when this day would come in fullness... but it's here. I miss Ireland. It's no secret that my year abroad wasn't super smooth or easy. Leaving my home, community, business, and church was HARD. Gaining a marriage and adventure were benefits, but I still grieved my losses regularly. Trading an at-home day job of fulfilling my passion for full-time cafe life was draining. But, the costs we paid were necessary and good. We were called there for a time. We had work to do.
And, all the while, God smiled upon us intermittently with lavish beauty like with scene pictured above. Sure, life in a bustling Northern Irish city was, oftentimes, no different than life in any American city. I walked, worked, dragged myself to the store, and then home, all the while, toting heavy bags of oversized carrots and potatoes. BUT! There were weekends. There were 28 paid holidays a year (thank you, UK!). There were opportunities to venture just 30 minutes out of town and into an Irish countryside that would seduce even the hardest heart.
Today, as I scrolled through the instagram feeds of friends worldwide, I was transported back to this landscape. I was instantaneously back in the left-side passenger's seat, as my husband and I drove down winding paths along some of the most beautiful countryside I have ever seen. And, I'm both sad and grateful. Sad that we're no longer there to soak in the extravagant colors— far better than any pantone re-creation. Sad also that I may have wasted some of my year on homesick, heart-sickness. But, I'm simulataneously thankful for the year we had as newlyweds, away from distraction, away from familiarity, away from routine.
We'll always have this year apart. We'll always have the coastal drives, the breath-taking views, the tear-soaked pillows of our first married flat. And we get to keep the coastal views that will forever be imprinted in our minds and memories, reminding us for years to come that beauty is a gift, that adventures and opportunities are graces, and creation is merely a flourish on God's greatness.