America on my Mind

Today has been a  day when I’ve felt like I have one foot in Ireland and the other in America. I feel a bit like that everyday as over half the visitors to Social Bridge are from the United States and  my email, which is deliberately set with AOL, brings me all the latest US news, temperatures …..

While I don’t have American friends here in Ireland, I am very close to a number of people in America and, of course, Ireland is a country which has so many connections with America over history and many, many Irish people have emigrated to the States over the generations with lots of American companies setting up here in Ireland.

I must say, though, I was a little surprised to be greeted by  July 4th window art down at our local SuperValu supermarket here in Tramore this morning. It really added to the sense of connection between our two countries.

It’s always hard for Irish people to estimate how much American people think about Ireland but there is no doubt whatever that Irish people are very tuned in to America across all spheres of life.

Today, I was thinking a lot about the many, many people who emigrated to America, especially to Butte, Montana, from Co. Waterford when the Copper Mines went into decline here in the late 19th century.

Old Mining Works at Tankardstown, Copper Coast, Co. Waterford
Old Mining Works at Tankardstown, Copper Coast, Co. Waterford

I looked across the Atlantic Ocean this evening and felt like American hands were reaching out to touch mine.

Garrarus Beach, Co. Waterford
Garrarus Beach, Co. Waterford

I also feel eternally grateful for the great literature, poetry, music and film that America has brought to my world.  It’s been a long journey of immersion and this song from Kris Kristofferson was one which captured my imagination as a young teenager. I listened to it over and over and over ….. longing to be travelling across America:

And, of course, there have been so many great sporting heroes from America who have touched my soul, especially wonderful tennis stars like Billie Jean King, John McEnroe, Pete Sampras and the amazing Venus and Serena Williams ….

Serena Williams of the U.S. confers with her sister, Venus Williams (L), in the women's doubles tennis gold medal match against Czech Republic's Andrea Hlavackova and Lucie Hradecka at the London Olympic Games, August 5, 2012.   REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth (BRITAIN  - Tags: OLYMPICS SPORT TENNIS)
Venus and Serena Williams

It’s still July 4th in America as I write this post and I wish you all a very, very happy day and thank you for being so inspirational, open and warm-hearted:

i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)

ee cummings

Author: socialbridge

I am a sociologist and writer from Ireland. I have worked as a social researcher for 30 years and have had a lifelong passion for writing. My main research interests relate to health care and I love to write both non-fiction and poetry.

29 thoughts on “America on my Mind”

  1. As an American looking out over the Atlantic this morning, I thought of those who traveled the ocean so many years ago to start anew. Being ever thankful for all their efforts and dreams.

    1. Hi Bill, many thanks for writing. It’s good to know that you were looking this way and it sounds like you often do.
      Hope you are having a happy day and that the weekend is full of peace and togetherness.

  2. Great comments Jean. America gets some bad press these days. But it is worth remembering that, for all its faults, it has given a home to countless lost people down theyears. My own ancestors settled there having fled the pogroms of Eastern Europe. And I too, think of that this day.

    1. Stan, great to hear from you. Yes, I think many underestimate the enormous role that America has played in the lives of people seeking hope in times of absolute hopelessness.

  3. Hands across the sea embracing the people of Ireland and her beautiful country …especially yourself who shows the connection between us is not really that far away.

      1. We spent a quiet day at home . Our daughter and I listened to the Boston Symphony Fourth of July concert on TV.. we also had a fireworks display (one of many going off) in our surrounding neighborhood that we were able to view from the kitchen window. The sound of fireworks went on up until 11:00p.m. tough if you’re trying to get to sleep.

  4. Aw what a lovely post, Jean. ❤
    This is one American who thinks about Ireland quite a bit. No Irish blood in me that I'm aware of, but I definitely have a strong affinity for all things Ireland, and dream of visiting her shores one day…

  5. Thank you, Jean, for sharing your thoughts about the US. I think as I have been reflecting on the 4th this past day, I have been mindful of how much all people everywhere desire freedom and independence, and wonder why that is so hard for us to recognize and honor. Indeed, the Irish, along with immigrants from many other countries, helped to build this country. Would that we could all cherish the ability to help each other build our nations and to honor those who do so.

  6. The USA has become a natural second home to so many Irishmen and women, and indeed American history has been shaped in large part by those people and their descendants. From the Famine times to the present day the US have welcomed in those who come to live, work hard and contribute to the nation. You are spot on Jean – there is a spiritual bridge between the two nations.

  7. Thanks for the tribute — lots of us Yanks have some Irish roots (mine: a great-great grandmother) and wish our roots were closer. Seeing your photos, it looks to me like you live in paradise.

    1. Sandy, my pleasure entirely and I must say I feel like I live in paradise most of the time.
      How interesting about your great-great grandmother being Irish. Was she from Co. Waterford by any chance???

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