Monday, April 21, 2008
Sleeping Under The Stars in Limerick.
I was in Dingle for a few days, with many other stories to tell, but I'll tell the one I just wrote out in an email for my new friend Simon.
I walked with Simon to the roundabout, said bye, and walked up the road a bit. I looked back. There was another hitcher behind me. He looked like a local. I asked him where he was heading and he said Anascaul. I wished him luck and thought I'd either wait him out, as nobody stops for 2 guys, or if I found you I'd see if you wanted to run up there.
Anyway, I walked around the corner, I saw Robert, the guy who practically got me to Dingle two days before! He's a 68 year old Irish guy who's never seen his country, so he's driving all over the country. He ended up giving me a ride to Tralee, and purposefully took the scenic route for me. I got another ride from Tralee to Newcastle West. I stepped out of the car, and what's across the road but a little circus tent. "Why not." think I. I went to the circus. It was so cool! It was the kind of circus that hasn't existed in the States for 50 years. Just a small, family-run circus. It was absolutely magical. Balancing acts, ponies, spinning plates, clowns. I was even brought up with a couple other guys to assist the clown.
I sat next to Billy and his little daughter, and I had a great time. When it was over, I walked back across the road and pulled out my little Canadian flag sign with 'Limerick' written on it.
Billy pulled up.
"My daughter said, 'It's too cold for that man to be hitch hiking, Daddy.' So you've got her to thank."
Billy and Sarah took me to Limerick.
If you do an internet search, Limerick will appear to be like every other town in this country. Full of hostels. The internet lies. I realized quickly that I was in need of a small miracle. I walked to a Best Western to see if they'd know anything. They didn't. There's nothing. I eventually walked to the Franciscan church, where mass was about to begin. Two women stood out front collecting for a charity. I asked them if they knew of anything. Nope.
I was very tired and my back was aching, so I decided to just go in for mass and trust God for a miracle. After mass, I pulled out my bible and once again read the 23rd Psalm. As I read on to Psalm 25, I felt a tap on my shoulder. The young lady from the charity asked me if I wanted to stay with her tonight.
"Uhh... Sure!" says I.
"Please don't be a weirdo." says she.
After walking to the bus station and trying to reach hostels in Galway just in case, and realizing they were all full, we set off for her brother's apartment. She was staying there tonight. It was good to have a while to walk and talk and make sure neither of us was said 'weirdo'.
We sat and watched Conan O'Brien and some Irish talk show and I went to a nice, warm bed. I pulled out my Liturgy prayers, and noticed the glow-stickers on the wall. I turned out the lights, and realized I was sleeping under the stars.
An angel came to me in the form of a vegetarian atheist bran flake.
Now I know how Jesus will feel when he'll say, "I was a stranger, and you took me in."
Then there's how I got to Galway and met a lady on the bus from Alaska who gave me 50 Euro when we pulled into Galway, but that's another story.
at 2:48 p.m.