A Fallow Field in Ireland

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

"A fallow field is land that a farmer plows but does not cultivate for one or more seasons to allow the field to become more fertile again."

We went home to Ireland for Christmas and it was bliss. I didn't get to see everyone I wanted to visit, but I did get quality time with my family. On Christmas Day 19 of my family sat down at the dinner table at my sister's farm and we all stayed the night. For 36 hours, the family was together, eating, laughing, telling stories, playing and cherishing all the children. I can't remember the last time so many of us were under one roof for so long.

It was also on Christmas Day as I drove up the lane to the farm that I saw "the field". In March it was a glorious green carpet with goalie stakes in it, but now it was fallow. It was brown, with dry leggy straw like grass, and it was beautiful.

The afternoon before we left to return to America we arrived back 15 minutes before sunset. The hills were dangerously close to hiding the sun completely as it set at an ungodly early hour. I grabbed my eldest and asked her for a favor. I asked her if she would come down to the field so that I could snap some photos of her there. She agreed with a smile and walked through the field touching the dry stakes and looking up at the sunset, before running in to join her cousin. Not to be outdone, I ran inside and asked my youngest for the same favor, but her agreement came with a stipulation. Only an hour before she had picked out a pink dress for herself in the sales, and she would only let me take a photo if she was wearing it. Outtakes capture her holding her dress tightly and singing with her eyes closed about her beautiful dress as dusk descended.

When we left the next morning for the airport it was dark, and as I kissed my sister and hugged my family I heard the sound of that dry grass moving in the wind. I wonder what that field will look like on my next visit, I cannot wait.