Irish Friends

Tuesday week 2: The day began with a visit to Blarney castle, which was described by another walker ‘as a once in a while experience’. I had to agree. Being Irish I never planned a visit to Blarney castle and it never entered my mind to kiss the Blarney stone, ever. A tourist trap, right? Well even if it is to a certain extent I am glad to have been there and if it truly is a prize relic from the Holy Land I am all the more glad to have venerated it. The greatest joy of the day though was the family that joined us for the day, the O’Donaghues’ from Co. Wexford. Joe, Brenda and their 5 children. Joe and Brenda walked and prayed with us for the day and in-between shifts we got to play with the children, John, Pauric, Katie, Mary and Therese.  Their mere presence was an encouragement and a great reminder of why we are doing this walk. Precious children. Their beautiful little faces, their joy and love, I was struck with joy. Heart warmed thoughts rolled through me and I marveled at motherhood. To be a mother is truly wondrous, what is more important? What is more beautiful? What brings more love? Motherhood I did not consider alone, the family, it’s the family that I was marveling at so simple so beautiful. Their love for life was clear. Their openness and willingness to serve life, to live life to the full was a privilege to share for the day. They don’t need to wear shirts with PRO-LIFE printed on the front, they live it, they live it.

Patricia Mannering