• Vol. 07
  • Chapter 01
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Travel Broadens the Mind

I grew up on this tiny little island
but I thought it was large,
a major player in the world.
It was when I first looked at a globe
that I saw my island was a pinpoint
on the face of the earth,
a pimple,
with ideas above its station.

Then I discovered the rest of the world
from McDonalds
to the Taj Mahal,
from Athens to Siberia,
from Chichen Itza
to Uluru.

All of humanity was there.
but they didn’t play the uileann pipes,
they knew nothing about rocky fields,
or crubeens, or boxty, or barmbrack.
Some lived in the rainforest,
some on wide never-ending deserts.
Others roamed grassy plains,
and climbed high mountains.

I learned that all our mountains
were hills.
Our plains were bogs.
My world shrank.
My island was almost invisible.


Travel Broadens the Mind

But I came home in the end,
back to my island.
I found a wealth
of music, art, poetry,
landscape, seascape,
the wild Atlantic
with its soft damp mist,
the luminous green of the fields,
the soft curves of the hills,
ancient carvings and ancient tombs,
cromlechs, dolmens, passage graves,
round towers, monasteries, abbeys, friaries,
legends to equal the Sagas and the Romances.

I had grown up on a tiny little island,
but an island with a mighty heart.