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Ireland (Part 5), Irish Sky

October 25, 2012

The sky is often called “celestial dome” or “celestial sphere” and includes everything that lies a certain distance above the surface of our earth. Every mode and color of sky–day sky, night sky, dawn, sunset, etc.–can be described in scientific terms. But the sky Don and I had admired primarily carried poetic and mystical meanings.

The Iowa sky, especially the night sky Don told me about, was certainly not just a celestial sphere. It was where his dreams lived and traveled far beyond where his eyes could see, and it stirred his heart with poetic inspiration.

In Ireland, from which a thousand and thousand people left for foreign countries for survival–the land from which Don’s ancestors migrated to America–I felt as if I were back home. I felt as if Don had invited me there to be at home with him.

Ireland welcomed me, a stranger, and wrapped me under its sky, the Irish sky. I’ve never seen anything like it. Tuscan sky, Korean sky, Hudson sky, Iowa sky are all beautiful, magnificent, vast and all around–not just above. But I felt there was something more in Irish sky.

Sky Near Donegal

I tried to figure out what added that distinct feel about Irish sky. It was clouds. Clouds dominated the sky. Mighty swells of clouds, a heavy canopy of clouds, never threatening–even when grey turning darker into coal black, forecasting sure arrival of a storm.

A myriad shades of blue, white and grey clouds in a thousand shapes covered the sky, sometimes flying high, other times floating quietly. To me, the clouds were not there to cover the sky but rather to be housed by it.

Through my mind’s eye, I saw many shapes of mansions among the clouds, but between small and large shapes of clouds were attic spaces where I saw Don lying on his belly as a little boy, drawing or reading Superman comics.

Often, I felt that the clouds held not rain but tears of Irish people, in soft comfort of hope and sorrow, and looked down on towns below, filling the hearts of people with mystery and hope that the sun will come through them.

The Irish sky, with its clouds, made me feel that the sky was the roof over everyone–a mother’s chest that embraces Irish, non-Irish, men, women, the old and the young.

Irish sky welcomed me, a widow and migrant, to my loved one’s attic to be at home with him.

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