Thursday, April 9, 2009

Planning Mode


For the first time since I moved out here I am returning to Ireland in September. I will meet a small group there at Shannon and we will spend ten days together exploring the the many wonders of Irish history, archeology, and culture. I suspect there may be a few jars downed and a bit of music enjoyed as well. I really enjoy these trips, and have been running them for twenty years now, save for the break I took to get myself settled in on the plains.

I tend to be a planner, a note-taker, a list-maker. I like and value and spontaneity, but on one of my trips I believe that the most rewarding spontaneity arises out of a measure of prior planning. And so I am now deep into 'planning mode' even though the trip is five months away.

I've done these trips all over Ireland (and Scotland), but my favorite region is rivaled only by the American Southwest in the incredible richness of archeological monuments— and, of course, in a much smaller area. The local archeological survey lists and describes almost sixteen-hundred sites, ranging from Neolithic shell middens, through Bronze Age tombs and stone alignments, to early Christian monastic establishments, to 16th century fortifications, and even the remnants of Cromwell's brutality.

We couldn't exhaust the sites I am personally familiar with if we were to stay for several months, but nevertheless I enjoy reviewing my notes and planing 'perfect days' for my groups. Of course, there are also the evenings of music, or poetry, or history, or local lore— or just good cráic— to arrange for.

Besides, I enjoy being in Planning Mode. It's part nostalgia and part anticipation and I like both.

4 comments:

Miz Minka said...

I wish I could join you! It's a dream of mine to visit Ireland and Scotland some day, for all the reasons you mentioned: archeology, history, poetry, music, and the beautiful countryside. Some day! (I'm shooting for 2012.) :)

Rio Arriba said...

If I'm still around in 2012! ;-)

Send me an email and I'll put you onto some references.

The Hermit said...

Who is going to take care of the dogs and watch your place? That's one of the hardest things for me about even leaving for a three day weekend. The animals have to be cared for and I don't like my place being unprotected.

Rio Arriba said...

Hermit, I hear you. I have the same concerns but I also don't want to be a slave to a piece of property.

A neighbor (well, 12 miles away) raise dogs and will keep my pair for me while I'm gone.

Only a few people will know that I am away. There hasn't been a strange vehicle on my little road in three years. We just don't get pass-thru traffic here.