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Abby Bloom Inspired!

Posted: June 03, 2016

Abby Bloom inspired with her wit, insight and wisdom in her dreaming presentation last week! She challenged each of us not to believe everything we think. Instead she encouraged us to ask a series of questions in pursuit of dreams, “What would it take to do this?” “Whom might I ask for help?” What would I say if I knew what to say?” She encouraged us to consider breaking open dreams to see if there are parts of dreams we could accomplish, if not the entire dream. Abby also mentioned that our relationships and openness to them can pave the way for luck! 

I know this is true! Years ago, when I was traveling in Ireland right before my senior year of college... I went on a tour of the North of Ireland and decided to extend my stay on the spur of the moment so I could go and meet my grandparents in Tipperary. They had no idea I was coming. I was traveling alone so my plan was to take a train and figure out the details when I arrived. I had some very vague directions in an old address book…

When I boarded the train in Dublin, I had the good fortune of meeting a couple on their way to visit their son. I told them my story of trying to find my grandparents on their small family farm. I had never met them and they were not expecting me… I had only exchanged letters with them during my childhood. It never occurred to me that they may not be home when I arrived, because I didn’t have an alternate plan. I was confident in the way that only 21 year olds are.

My spur of the moment idea paid off… This lovely couple was moved by my story of seeking my grandparents and said they would help me find them. When we arrived at the train depot, their son was waiting in his, “mini”. I had never seen such a tiny car! After brief introductions, we piled into his car! Then we set off on our adventure… 

We enjoyed a beautiful drive through the countryside. When we got close to Tipperary, we started inquiring if people knew my grandparents. I remember vague instructions… “Go over the hill, past the creamery” and keep driving past a series of farms. I must admit, none of us was concerned. We knew that it was only a matter of time before we found my grandparent’s farm.

Driving around Ireland is magical! Ireland is a patchwork of stunning shades of green, stone fences, whitewashed cottages with thatched roofs surrounded by rose gardens with sheep grazing in the fields.  After passing numerous villages, shops and farms, we finally arrived at their cottage! It looked just like the photos I had seen! It could have been in a story book!
We pulled into the front yard filled with anticipation! When I got out of the car and knocked on the cottage door, a small man wearing a tweed blazer and a beret, with bright blues eyes, opened the door! I could see my older sister, Philomena’s reflection in his face! He smiled and walked outside. I remember the words of my grandfather so clearly. He said, “You must be one of Mary’s daughter’s, a Yank!” and gave me a big hug! I was a head taller than him! There were smiles, tears and hugs all around!

My grandmother walked outside to see what all of the commotion was about! It was an incredible homecoming. I spent the week, walking the fields with my grandfather, meeting cousins, aunts, uncles and friends of my mothers. We visited the farms of relatives and enjoyed meals and stories. Everyone wanted news of, “America” and my family.  I felt a deep connection to the people and the land of my heritage. My trip was a combination of, “luck” with the generosity of strangers! 

I always felt like I had missed something during my childhood. After meeting my large, extended family, I knew I had come home! It was an incredible journey… a dream come true!  

Maura