Sliabh Liag, County Donegal
Some days I sit still and think about how my life became a dream full-circle.
There’s William Butler Yeats, James Joyce and Brendan Behan.
Seamus Heaney, Jonathan Swift, Colm Tóibín and Samuel Beckett.
Patrick Kavanagh, George Bernard Shaw and Lady Augusta.
The Lake Isle of Innisfree, Land of Heart’s Desire and Yeats’s grave.
Dubliners, Ulysses and Bloomsday.
The mountains, lakes, Dublin, Sligo and the Shannon.
Brú na Boinne, Corcaigh, Beara, Daingean Uí Chúis, Zú Bhaile Átha Cliath, craic agus ceol.
Brian Ború, Michael Collins, Theobald Wolfe Tone and Daniel O’Connell.
Seven hundred years of cruelty, yet still able to endure hard times.
Writers, dancers, taps, tin whistles and uilleann pipes.
Books, almighty libraries and small bookshops selling secrets.
Friendships gained, lost and renewed.
New alliances forged in foothills and strengthened on mountain tops.
“You, the Irish” becoming “Us Irish”.
Utter dedication, loyalty, heartfelt passion and amazement.
Innate decency, long chats and fickle fiddlers, the smallest dance floors filled to the brim.
Haunting voices singing songs at night, softer voices talking about Irish history near the open fire.
Family falling for that Irish dream and character, its people and its truth.
Twelve and a half years of dreaming, believing, seeing and becoming.
Twelve and a half years and counting.
Neurologically challenged by MS and personally by her will to succeed, Willeke is a disability awareness advocate seeking to improve neurological/MS services in Ireland. By highlighting difficult issues that come with such a diagnosis, she hopes her tenacity can bring some dignity to people most in need of a modern, inclusive healthcare system that looks after every aspect of life.
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