In December 1971, I arrived at Shannon Airport on my first visit to Ireland. Driving north from the airport , I experienced remarkable changes in weather and corresponding changes in the light. At first, the sun gleamed in a brilliant sky. Suddenly the wind began to blow and heavy gray clouds gathered overhead. Within minutes, rain blurred the greens of the land with the gray of the sky. The rain intensified and without warning, hail pelted down with a fury.
But as quickly as it started, the hail stopped and the rain changed into a gentle mist. How soft the light seemed then. The air was clean and sweet with smells of plants and wet earth. As the storm passed, the sky grew brighter. Moments later, the sun appeared and everything glistened. Within that thirty minutes, Ireland gave me a glimpse of her treasures. All at once I knew I was entering into a long and important relationship with this rare and beautiful country. My love for Ireland has spanned more than forty years. I continue to be inspired by what the light and landscape reveal.
It is my hope that in some way, the creative spirit in all of us will be awakened by Ireland’s beauty.