Dear Ryan…

The following is a work of fiction based on recent events and experiences in Ireland.

Dear Ryan,

At last, the final sunrise of the season approaches overhead the River Shannon, it is that time of the day to herd the sheep in the far mountain field with our youngest border collie you have yet to meet, Christopher. I hear Ma calling from downstairs, “Tá sé in am éirí” which if you forget your Irish roots from the last time you were home seven years ago, means it is time to get up. Today is my last job of the summer before leaving to head back to the University in Dublin. Before I leave, father told me I must herd the remaining 400 lambs on property to the pens to be sheared before we send them to the abattoir in Limerick. This had to be done early in the day today since the summer heat has been that bad this year; it actually reminded me of the heat you get in Florida. Anyway, Da always told me not to get attached to the sheep but it’s still hard to see the lambs taken from their mothers knowing what is happening to them. Once I finish up here later I have to start packing since I leave tomorrow morning with Ma for Dublin to finish my degree in Marketing and Web Development. I am looking forward to leaving the farm again to head back into the city. Ever since I visited you at school three years ago and we went into Boston, I really wanted to experience the urban way of life on my own.

Farm life was something I thought I would never grow tired of but visiting you and studying in Dublin, changed my thought process. The one thing I’m not looking forward to is leaving the dogs, since they are only happy when they are with me in the field working. I am going to miss them a lot but I think I need a change of scenery. You know how Ma always stresses, “Cha d’dhùin doras nach d’fhosgail doras” (No door closes without another opening if you forgot). Leaving the farm is something Ma and Da are proud of me for deciding to do. They understand how I have been introduced to a different lifestyle while studying in Dublin and visiting you and Da was happy for me. They raised us well and now I will get to live the best of both worlds with having a place I can come home to that I grew up on but also live in a place where my lifestyle clicks. Visiting you and seeing the city made me want to get into business and I thank you for that. I now know I belong in an office building highlighting my new love of Marketing and Web Development. I hope you will have time during your winter or spring break this year to come and visit me in Dublin. A lot has changed since you last visited and I definitely owe you a pint of Guinness.

Hope to hear from you soon,