Dé Máirt 28 Meitheamh 2011

What’s the Gaeilge for a sort of positive feeling of nostalgia?

[Originally posted here on April 3, 2011]

As I walked home to my grandparents house in Marino from town yesterday, a profound feeling came over me; it’s a feeling I get often when I return to the area. I pretty much grew up there, so obviously I have a strong connection with the place. I don’t think the term ‘nostalgia’ fits this feeling; this certain feeling is a type of happiness, a feeling that comes back from a time past. A lingering feeling from childhood, I reckon, that is prompted by something. In this case, it was the place. As I continued walking, another strange thought entered my mind - “Ba chóir go mbeadh Gaeilge á labhairt anseo…” (“Irish should be spoken here…”) I felt that the area had the same feeling that I do get from Irish-speaking areas. Strange!


But then it makes sense - I always felt that Irish is a link between me and my childhood. I only encountered Irish in school; there was no Irish at home, I didn’t attend a Gaelscoil, and I never went to the Gaeltacht. But something in the language itself prompts this same feeling of ‘home’ and ‘childhood’ in my mind. I originally picked Irish in college because I felt that I missed it from school! After finishing my Irish Leaving Cert exam, I remember walking forlornly out from the school grounds thinking “I can’t believe that I’ll never do Irish again…”, while everyone else around me was jubilant. I picked Irish in college to keep that link, which was one of childhood and identity.

As I left my grandparents house today, the view we have of the Dublin mountains was lovely and clear today, with Conamara clouds (as I call them, after the paintings of Paul Henry) above them. I love where I live now in Louth, but the mountains really prompted that keen connection with my native place. You can’t take Dublin out of the girl! And, from what I glean from my musings, I think the spirit of Gaeilge does survive in the Capital!

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