Like so many people in Ireland there is a high emigration rate. This craze began during the famine in the 1800’s when two million people left the country within a three year period. A preferred nestling space for these Irish immigrants was their close and not so friendly neighbor, the United Kingdom. I happen to be a product of these mass emigrations as my Irish parents saw business opportunities in England that just weren’t available to us in Ireland.
Consequently i have two homes. Very close and yet so different. My family and I have moved back to Ireland and even though I have amazing friends, who I couldn’t live without, a loving home and family all around me I have yet to feel completely at home. When you have two homes can you ever feel at rest, settled?
The wonderful technology of the modern day airplane allows anyone to go anywhere they want for a sum of money. Our “roots” can be in a million places within a matter of days. Even with this dramatic change in how we travel I think the even bigger change has occurred in our minds. I feel a constant tug to England even though I have now spent an equal amount of time in both Ireland and England. The Irish and English have been known for battling on a number of different issues over time but nowadays the only battle I am aware of is that for my loyalty.
Is nationalism now outdated? When you move from place to place in such a constant stream do we still owe that same fealty to our country of birth as they did in medieval times. God bless England or god bless the airplane?
All these thoughts ran around my mind today. Do I have an ever lasting bond with one country or many countries? As the yellow sun began to set on the horizon between my two homes I pondered this? What do you think?