Inklings of Ireland: Brody, Snow, Fish, and Bull

With less than three weeks to go until I’ll have moved to Ireland (!!!!!), dreams of it are coming thick and strong. (I’ve hardly dreamed about it since I left, I think because it hardly seemed real even when I was there and I hardly dared hope that I might live there. But now that I’m getting close, its spirit-tendrils are reaching out.)

Last night, I was traveling in England or Wales, I think, and hanging out with some people who were all well and good, but I was ready to go to my host somewhere on an Irish coast. (His location felt northeast in the dream, but it wasn’t in Ireland’s actual northeast — dream landscapes being weird, as you know.) I had never met the guy before or even talked to him on the phone, but I had his number and thought to call him before I headed out. It would be at least a three-hour journey to get there and somehow it had already gotten to be 9 p.m., so I would be late and might need to find other accommodation.

His name as given wherever I’d found the listing was Brodwick. When his voicemail picked up, he sounded like a jovial old lad: “Oi, this is Brody!” He went on like that a moment and then switched to speaking Irish, saying a lot more in that language than in English. I found myself grinning and crying a little. Hearing such good cheer in so beautiful a language was food for my starving soul.

In the middle of it all, a woman picked up: “Hello?”

I explained that I was the American girl who was scheduled to stay with Brody that night.

“Oh! Right.” She sounded quiet and distracted and said some things I didn’t catch.

I inquired further. She responded with something else I didn’t understand.

This went back and forth a couple times until I heard her clearly: “He died.”

Oh, no.

All I’d heard was Brody’s voicemail, and already I’d felt him a dear friend, and lost him. “Oh, I’m so sorry. I’ll make other arrangements, then.”

“Yes, well.”

I awoke still mourning the loss of Brody, a man of whom I’d only dreamed . . . and only heard a recording of, at that. Godspeed, Brody.

My other dreams of Ireland have been just as vivifying. In one, it snowed! Peaceful white wondrous flakes. And I got asked on a date by a car salesman at a dealership where I was getting free goldfish. (I gracefully declined.) At first I thought I couldn’t have goldfish, because I was about to move to Ire– but wait! I was in Ireland! So I took them and bought goldfish accessories, too.

And I outwitted and outmaneuvered a charging bull in a grove of trees, in part by grabbing it by one leg or horn and holding on until I could escape into the ocean. And there was a sort of mermaid on the rocks — actually a girl in a mermaid costume — and an Irish male co-narrator of the whole thing who relished the idea that she might drop something down her costume and have to retrieve it.

Anyway, back to so-called reality, for now: it’s a foggy, almost Irish morning, but for the golden hills. Grandma is quiet. I have a warming cup of tea and a bursting schedule. I’m scaling back on survey-taking and sweepstakes entries and just doing as I wish. There’ll be time enough to make more money, and my finances are more-or-less settled for now.

I’m not so much excited as contemplative and filled with peaceful anticipation. It’s all comin’ around the bend, but there are a few things for me to do here yet: passages to honor, books to distribute, and friends to see one last time.