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The matriarchal womb of Antrim, and its gifts, now rests in the hands of my daughter, Rachael. She is an old soul, that I have been very fortunate to share some journeys with, her on Mother Earth.
Rachael has always had the nickname “Rach”; not to be mixed up with “Pooch”. Well – Pooch got the name “Pooch” only after Rach was born, because she was Rach – short for Rachael – when she was alive, too. Pooch also got the nickname “Old Pooch”, out of seniority; not to be mixed up with her mother Old Pooch, who got that nickname, when Little Pooch was born. Old Pooch was also Rachael, before there were any puppies, and she too was named after Rachael, who was actually a human. This little Celtic loop is now somewhere between 80 years and a century old – it has weaved both human and animal kingdoms together. Did I also mention that some of these Rachaels are Irish Setters?! Rachael had purebred papers as long as your arm, and I’m sure there was a name in there somewhere, that we never uttered to Old Pooch, for as long as she lived! Her sire was nicknamed, “The Colonel”, and he was from – you guessed it – Ireland!
There was a little “aaaaahhh” moment that went up in smoke, as my daughter joined our family’s ranks. “You named her after the dog?!!”, they cried! “Well not just any dog!!”, bantered me. I’ve always like the name Rachael, and I grew up with Rach, right down to the red hair , and the rambunctious meanderings. Old Pooch initiated her fair share of contributions as well! I had to plea that I always felt Rach was more like a younger sister than a dog! She had, after all, lived for 13 years, and was more than half of my childhood memories. As any breeder of Irish Setters will recount to you (should you take on a Setter), there will be stories to tell. If you ask, “…they do grow up don’t they?”..”well yes…” ..”but you do know you’re getting an Irish Setter, don’t you?”…”you’ll have about 15 years to learn!”
Rachael also has the matriarchal Celtic loop of being the eldest daughter of the eldest daughter, and that takes us back to Ireland, and Antrim County. There is one tiny meandering in there, and that is that I’m the second born of eldest twin girls. My sister technically holds the title, but she did not have children, so we are back on track as a two for one deal! My great-great-great grandmother was born into nobility at the turn of the 19th century in Antrim County. She was to be married in a state marriage at the age of 24, and was the eldest of two daughters. She had found the one she wanted to share her life with, and this was not of her father’s choosing. He was interested in state and power, and strong households. Understandable, perhaps more-so nowadays! We had been a part of the Battle of Antrim in 1789, and perhaps a part of the anglicizing and migration across the Mull of Kintyre. She had chosen a man two years younger than herself, and was not partaking in any womb strategies.
They left Antrim County for the Dominion of Canada in 1825, and received a grant of 200 acres at Silver Hill in Upham, Kings County, New Brunswick. When I look back, I am in awe that they were only 22 and 24 years old, when they took that pivotal leap. She was followed by private investigators, commissioned by her father, to find her and tell her that he would order the annulment of this (Irish state) marriage; that she was to come back to partake in the state marriage he had chosen, and that all would be well, if she did so. If not – she was to be disowned; to never speak of their name; or to his wife or his (younger) daughter again. They stayed, and the names in Ireland went with them, to their graves! The decision was sent back, and a burial took place in Antrim, for a 24 year old young woman, who had fled the shores of her homeland. She was, however in her early 80’s when she died, as also her husband, who died a year later. The secret was never shared. She was Alicia or Alisha to some, and to others Alice Ireland.
She gave birth to four sons: Robert, Israel, William, James; and then to Alice her daughter. This daughter gave birth to three daughters, and two sons. The eldest daughter gave issue, and she was my great-grandmother. It hour-glassed again, when my grandmother gave birth to a stillborn, and then to my mother. In my generation I am the only daughter, to have birthed a daughter, and that now lies squarely with Rachael, my eldest, and now only child.
Rachael is an ancient spirit. She has her own timing to do things; her own places to wander; and her own watermark to place upon her achievements. She has plenty of time to meander, and delve into her Earth School plans… and become the Rachael she wants to be. Erin go Braugh! Luv and light upon this journey, and the ones to come!