Sunday, February 28, 2010

"Nothing is enough"

This is a short post, and likely a transient one--my children are in Galway, and this is a Galway story.

Last July, Leslie and I found ourselves in Monroe's, a crowded pub on the locals' side of the canal in Galway. We were a bit lost, and a bit more hungry. Ordering in a pub is different than in the States--you order at the bar, and your food finds you.

The place was crowded, and a waitress took us under her wing--that she happened to be stunningly Galway beautiful did not escape me (and, thankfully, Leslie). Her hair was black, her eyes blue, and I suppose I cannot fault her for her western Oirish accent. I fell in love.

The lass found us a quiet spot, and made sure we got fed. We wanted to tip her, though tipping in pubs (at least outside Dublin) is frowned upon--the waitstaff are not servants, and many take pride in what they do, and they do it well.

Still, we felt we had to offer something, and so we asked--what is the custom?

Her reply: "Nothing is enough." I heard it one way, Leslie another, and indeed, nothing is enough.

And with a roof over our heads and Guinness in our bellies, nothing is more than enough.

What does this have to do with science? With biology? With education?

Take a walk outside--nothing is indeed enough. We are animals. We eat, we breathe, we move, we live. The sun, the air, the soil, all gifts. Do our children see them this way? Can you commoditize something that's been given to us for nothing?

I am drinking another bottle of my daughter's mead--yeast, water, and honey now blessed with time. She was born 27 years ago, and her brother followed her 3 years later. Neither took much more than the mead to make, and both, I think (and I pray) know that for happiness, nothing is enough.

And should you find yourself in a pub with the woman you have loved for over three decades, you realize nothing, indeed, is enough.

"Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten in God's sight."
Luke, of course, and perhaps an odd thing for a science blog.
Take wisdom where you will.

And more wisdom, from a Galway lad no more than 11.
He was fishing in the bay, when a man asked him if he planned to eat any fish he caught.
He looked genuinely surprised. "What else would you do with a fish?"


Kate said...

dearest doyle,
I don't need to go to Galway to know that "nothing is enough." I have three beautiful daughters and a man I have loved for two decades, all who share a home with me. All I need is to know that they are breathing in the same world I am, and that the warmth of my husband is the weight behind me as I sleep. There are things that I would change. But not these. And I know you. And that too is part of my enough.

doyle said...

Dear Kate,

I avoided Ireland most of my life, not sure why. You are right, of course--if you cannot learn these thing in your own yard, you cannot learn them.

Still, sitting at the sea's edge on the west coast, well, I think maybe that's my yard. We left not so long ago, and not because we wanted to.