William Butler Yeats was an Irish poet and one of the foremost literary figures of the 20th century. A few years ago (way before TravelingMamas.com) I was hosted by Tourism Ireland to take a small group road trip around a certain area of the island. It was magical. Seriously. It was such a wonderful experience, that it’s one of those places I’ve kept close to my heart and I’ve been very reluctant to share any of my memories from there. It’s that wonderful. And that private for me.
In the social media world, I’m known as the creative person behind TravelingMamas.com. What many people don’t realize, is that I’ve been writing about travel long before I created any blog or website. A topic that’s been mulled around for decades in the travel writing industry is – Do you really want to share the most wonderful secret places of travel? Our words can become monsters. If I find that little hidden place, if I write about and tell everyone, then that hidden place may change and not be the same. The next time I visit it may be overrun by travelers, trying to grab a piece of that hidden moment that I experienced in my stories.
So back to Yeats.
When I was in Ireland, I fell in love with his poems all over again. I saw the places he described. I even visited what some believe to be the inspiration for “The Lake Isle of Innisfree.” Our group was treated to a dinner overlooking the lake, with poetry recited between courses by chef and narrator Damian Brennan. I sat there looking out that window, listening to the words, thinking about what happened in life to bring me to that moment. No matter what happens from this moment forward, I know I’ve lived a fantastic and unbelievable life.
When You Are Old – W.B. Yeats
When you are old and grey and full of sleep,
And nodding by the fire, take down this book,
And slowly read, and dream of the soft look
Your eyes had once, and of their shadows deep;
How many loved your moments of glad grace,
And loved your beauty with love false or true,
But one man loved the pilgrim Soul in you,
And loved the sorrows of your changing face;
And bending down beside the glowing bars,
Murmur, a little sadly, how Love fled
And paced upon the mountains overhead
And hid his face amid a crowd of stars.
W.B. Yeats is buried at Drumcliff in Sligo, Ireland. To plan your own discovery of Ireland, visit www.DiscoverIreland.com
Special thanks to Tourism Ireland, Aer Lingus, and Fáilte Ireland for the wonderful experience and hosting my stay. If you’d like to read about the affair I had in Ireland, you can read the post Romantic Ireland on TravelingMamas.com