What started as a field trip on a Friday morning ended as a day exploring by myself in Dublin City Center. As I briskly walked to the bus stop to make my ride back to campus, I suddenly stopped and said to myself, “I am an independent woman. I can do anything I want!” After that obvious reminder to myself, I started across the street to begin my spontaneous afternoon.
My first encounter that reminded me of home was a sign I passed that read “Balls Bridge.” This sign immediately reminded me of my three older brothers, my three sisters-in-law, my parents, my two nephews and my niece. Why does this sign take me into the presence of my family? With the last name Ball, I had an immediate connection to this bridge and imagined myself surrounded by my family, playing card games, making jokes and drinking coffee at the kitchen table. Balls Bridge was a reminder of my name, my family and my home.
Making my way through city shops and boutiques, I came across a journal filled with quotes from Irish poet Oscar Wilde. Not only is Wilde my favorite poet, but the first quote I read from the journal was this: “I never travel without my diary. One should always have something sensational to read in the train.” I journal almost daily, and knowing my favorite poet does so too took me back to my home where I was first introduced to Wilde. This quote reminded me of my senior year in high school where I came to know Wilde and grew fond of his witty humor. This quote was a reminder of my home school, my love for journaling, and my appreciation of Oscar Wilde.
The sun was moving farther west and I decided it was time to head back to my dorm. As I headed for the exit of the boutique, I was stopped just before the door by a young man offering me a sample of a delicious looking morsel. Excited, I accepted the sample and went on my way. Walking to the bus stop, I paused to take a picture of this exquisite looking food and proceeded to eat the delicacy. I stood on the sidewalk trying to understand what it was that I put into my mouth. Within seconds, it hit me: I had consumed a bite size Thanksgiving dinner. For the entire minute I was experiencing this mouth watering concoction, I imagined myself surrounded by my family on Thanksgiving Day, eating foods that made up this exact taste. This bite size Thanksgiving dinner reminded me of my favorite American holiday, my family and the most delicious home cooked meal I eat way too much of on Thanksgiving Day.
An average Friday started as a class field trip to the National Gallery of Ireland and ended up as an imaginary day trip back home. A sign of Balls Bridge, a quote from Oscar Wilde and a bite size Thanksgiving dinner took me 4, 561 miles back home to Boise, Idaho, USA.
The world awaits…discover it.