Tin Can Economy | Home to Home • The Yellow Springs News

My world is very small in Yellow Springs.

The morning commute to the news office is a four-minute walk, and I see the same Midwestern faces most days. I drive by once every two weeks, and I’m grateful that my groceries are still cold after I go home to my chicken coop on Union Street. Mercifully, our local water bodies are within easy stumbling distance.

The thought of flying across the Atlantic has always made me shudder — a little more than my annual trip to Kroger — but my wife and I wanted to do something for our honeymoon.

Ireland seemed to fit the bill. We’d always dreamed of going, and because of some prominent lineage, I felt a sort of mythical pull to my life.

Iyer it was, then.

After a miserable red eye, my wife and I arrived in Dublin at the end of April. We entered a thriving castle and immediately hit the pavement. On our first day, we wandered around Trinity College, walked through the impeccably old cemetery full of spring daisies, and drank a few Guinnesses at John Kavanagh’s aptly named Gravedigger’s pub, next door. It was easy to make friends there.

We hired a car and drove through green rolling hills dotted with little white lambs, past several castles and stone age ruins, and through countryside on the wrong side of the road. After rough Galway, we stayed in quiet Doolin – a seaside hamlet with the prettiest thatched sweater shop you’ll ever see.

There, in a dark pub, an old one-legged man fetched me A lot Tears as he sings the lyrics, „In the dark recesses of the mines, you grow old before your time” With a five-piece session band. Maybe it was Guinness that made me happy. Or maybe it felt like Doolin’s yellow springs and I’m starting to miss my home.

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Inis Oirr, The Cliffs of Moher, the Wicklow uplands and bogs, shipwrecks, stonewall labyrinths, lilting singong accents — Ireland’s incredible and supernatural beauty is not left alone. How does all this fit in a country smaller than Ohio State?

Eventually, it was time to return to dirty Dublin. There were more pubs and more fish feasts. Joyce’s Walking Tour brought us through Leopold Bloom’s daytime odyssey to a Disneyland-esque Guinness Storehouse. The temple district surrounds us with more languages ​​than I have ever heard in one place.

The week was over and before we knew it a plane was sending us back stateside. Vacations of that magnitude always end in a whimper, my wife joked at an airport.

Although she returned with food poisoning from a dubious airline chicken meal, with some crippling credibility, I returned to Ohio in good health. That is, it is inconceivable that a person could go from the bliss of standing on the side of a roaring cliff to crouching and typing away in an office half a hemisphere away—these places are on the same planet.

Despite that whiplash, I found some solace in this village I call home — Yellow Springs seems a little Irish to me now. Both places have more in common than I thought.

I don’t mean to force a square peg into a round hole by making such a comparison, but if I squint, the fields between here and Enon start to resemble County Clare. The Tavern isn’t far from a pub, and the downy culture here d. Glen Helen’s greens are less fluorescent than those in Ireland.

And then there’s tourism, of course.

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Ireland is a country of just over 5 million people, down dramatically from its historic peak of 8.5 million during the Great Famine of 1842. Starvation, brutal colonial oppression, and the often empty promise of better living conditions elsewhere forced millions of Irish people. From their homes for the past 200 years.

But nearly 10 million visitors come to the Republic annually, outnumbering Irish residents, making tourism one of the biggest contributors to its economy – and so my wife and I realized we weren’t the only Americans who stomached pubs. A similar phenomenon can be seen on any sunny Saturday afternoon in Yellow Springs.

And yet, at the same time, who among us doesn’t know a lifelong local who is scrambling to pack their bags for greener pastures?

This is not to suggest that Yellow Springs’ occasionally fragile economic conditions, its own declines in demographics and demographic changes, stack up against changes brought about by colonization and famine in Ireland.

What is my purpose in this sensational column?

What I should note is that migrations and vacations can happen together; Prosperous arrivals and unfortunate departures may occur simultaneously.

How can it be so? How can a place – a home – attract others while excluding others?

Capital’s disenfranchisement power is, I think, an understated answer here. But what simultaneously magnetizes and repels people to certain places continues to exist in the stories we tell ourselves about those places — the myths we create. It’s the old photos we look at and the histories we discover, the traditions we say have always been there and the roots families claim. What I’m saying is that what we know about places – even the places we call home – is fungible and subject to the imaginative tricks of folktales.

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For example, it was idea Ireland brought me there. Likewise, this idea Yellow Springs crowd our city sidewalks on weekends with a tie-dye. For some villagers, it is idea Our little town isn’t what it used to be, and it can fill a person with enough nostalgia to blow up or move to Portland. These ideas of space and permanence, I suggest, are capricious and should not always be trusted.

I’m reminded here of the Welsh concept of „hireth,” a transient word with no direct English translation that describes longing, yearning, or mourning for a home to which one can never return.

Like many of the small Irish towns my wife and I visited last month, Yellow Springs has changed in significant ways over the past two decades. Still, it’s a beautiful, beautiful place, and sometimes I wonder if it can be seen more clearly through other people’s eyes.

I think Thomas Wolfe was right: You can’t really go home. But maybe getting away will make you appreciate yourself in new ways.

Anyway, good to be back, hope I can stay a while.

*Tin Can Economy is an occasional column reflecting on material, shape and size. It considers the places and spaces we inhabit, their constituent materials, and our relationship to them. Its author, Reilly Dixon, is a local author, gardener and amateur winemaker. He is also a correspondent of this newspaper.

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