(The Isles is a series of reflections on my recent trip to Ireland and England.)
As I walked along the banks of the River Liffey on the last day of my journey, I think all the energy of the ancient cities I had visited—London, Oxford, and Dublin—began to course their way into me. It has been over a week now since my friend Kyle and I returned from our trip, and my experience still seems to continue. You see, I set out on this adventure to connect with family and reconnect with friends. I wound up reconnecting with two people I didn’t realize I had let slip through the cracks: God and myself.
The trip began with a simple enough purpose: see family and friends. I have relatives in England that I had never met, and I have friends currently finishing their master’s degrees in Dublin, Ireland. My mom has especially wanted me to meet her half-sister and niece in England, so she jump-started me on my attempt to visit them. Having one of my very best friends, Blake, in Dublin with his wife Jazmin quickly made that a stopover that I couldn’t resist (as did, honestly, figuring out that it is much cheaper to fly into Dublin than straight into London). Not wanting to fly alone, I eventually was able to convince my friend and coworker, Kyle, to join me as my travel buddy. After months of planning and replanning, the day very suddenly arrived.
I will spare you the more mundane details. This isn’t a travel guide. I will say that we accomplished the set goals gloriously: I met and got along quite well with my aunt and cousin in London. Blake and Jazmin both welcomed us on their turf and joined us in London, and good fellowship was had by all. But sometimes the reasons one sets out on a trip end up only being a part of a grander outcome, a divinely orchestrated pilgrimage more shaping that you could have ever imagined.
That is the story of this adventure. Over my next posts, I will detail how this journey, like the great river Liffey through the ancient soil of Dublin, has coursed its way deep into me and become an enduring source of life.
To be continued…
(Cover image: The River Liffey in downtown Dublin. © Jacob A. Davis.)