16 March 2012

The Great Hunger

An Gorta Mór--the Great Hunger.

I've never known that type of hunger. Our pantry, refrigerator and freezer are full; I can easily drive to the several grocery stores not too far away should I need anything more.
My kids are not hungry; my dad and other family either. None of us are wan or haggard from going without; all of us are well nourished.

Here in the beautiful PNW we are blessed.

Even when the crops fail or are lessened because of the weather,

we still have abundant food.

But for those who came before, this has not always been the case.

Things have not always been as easy; goods not always as plentiful as now

(here I am not referring to those areas of the world that still know

hunger, thirst, famine, drought;

sadly they know firsthand the knawing pain of hunger, the endless yearning for pure water).

In Ireland they knew hunger;

they called it an Gorta Mór--the Great Hunger.

It was a time of great pain and anxiety in the Emerald Island;

it was a time that brought great change and suffering to many who called

Ireland their home.

In the beautiful hills above Portland; in that area above the snow zone,

stands a memorial to those affected by the Potato Famine, the Great Hunger.

It is fitting that the victims and those affected by the Potato Famine should be remembered;

it is fitting that those who came after them never forget the suffering that took place there.

It is fitting that we as fellow sojourners on this beautiful earth

remember there are those who even now know great hunger...

it is fitting and furthermore I think our ancestors would want us to.

Blessings, Aimee

Notes: I have used a wee bit of literary license here. Although I am part Irish, to my knowledge --thus far--all my ancestors arrived prior to the year when the Potato Famine began (1845). However, there may be an exception as my great grandfather was said to come from Ireland sometime before the 1870's.

For more information re: the Potato Famine (1845-1852) and Bliain an Áir, The Year of Slaughter (1740-1741) see these links: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Famine_(Ireland)

Photo: Potato Famine Memorial, Mt Calvary Catholic Cemetery, Portland.

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