Cumhaidh an Fhómhair / The Nostalgia of Autumn

Haighea a chairde,

Bhuel, tá na tuismitheoirí uilig sa bhaile arís i Massachusetts, agus tá muid ar ais inár bpatrúin rialta… ranganna Dé Máirt, Dé Céadaoin, agus Déardaoin, an margadh álainn Dé Sathairn, cúpla seisiún ceoil anseo agus ansúid. Tá an fómhar anseo cosúil leis an fhómhar i Massachusetts (leis an fhuacht ag teacht agus an solas ag imeacht de réir a chéile), ach níl na dathanna ar na crainn mar an gceanna ar chor ar bith, agus cronaím na dathanna geala oráiste, buí, agus dearg a bhíonn tharainn i gcónaí sa bhaile i MA.

Le himeacht ár dtuimitheoirí, tá mé ag tabhairt fá deara ar athrú an tséasúir, agus mothaím go bhfuil cumhaidh orm ó am go ham. Ar dtús shíl mé nach raibh rud orm seachas ár dtuismitheoirí a bheith fada uaim, ach ansin fuair mé pacáiste galánta ó mo chara Carrie sna Stáit Aontaithe. Déanann an bheirt againn rud éigean le chéile don Oíche Shamhna i gcónaí, agus caithfidh sé a bheith gur léigh sí m’intinn mar sheol sí pacáiste domh le rudaí éagsúla don Oíche Shamhna… rudaí beaga, mar bhrioscaí a rinne sí (i múnlán mhéara na caillí) agus rudaí seafóideacha le cur orm mar chulaith. Bhí sé chomh speisialta, mar phíosa beag álainn ó mo bhaile agus na traidisiúin a bhfuil mé cleachta leo ansin, agus thosaigh mé ag caoineadh ar feadh bomaite, agus mé ag oscailt an bhosca seo. Ansin léigh mé a litir, agus chuir sí focail foirfe ar na mhothúcháin a bhíonn orm (agus ar daoine eile, is dócha) an tráth seo den bhliain. Bíonn cinneal cumhaidh orainn san fhómhair, mar is cuimhin linn go bhfuil deireadh na bliana ag teacht agus tarlaíonn rudaí áirithe roimhe sin. Cé nach bhfuil muid uilig ag obair ar fheirm anois, agus cé nach mbaineann ár saolta agus ár n-ioncam le athrú na séasúr sa lá atá inniu ann, mothaíonn muid an t-athrú atá ag tarlú sa domhain agus ullmhaíonn muid féin don tréimhse níos fuaire, níos dorcha atá romhainn.

San Iarthar Massachusetts, is am machnamhach é seo, ach is am álainn agus ceiliúrach é fosta agus bíonn lucht an cheantair sin ag tnúth leis an fhómhair. Bíonn féilte a bhaineann leis an fhómhair ag tarlú san bailte beaga ar fud an stáit, agus tá páistí agus teaghlaigh uilig ag ullmhú fá choinne Oíche Shamhna agus Lá an Bhuíochais. Suimiúil… feictear domh go bhfuil teannas éigean idir an ceiliúradh agus an uaigneas/ciúnas a tharlaíonn an tráth seo, ach baineann an dá rud le traidisiúin a dhéantar. Sin an fáth a bhfuil cumhaidh orm anois, sílim… sin an rud a tharlaíonn i gcónaí, ach bíonn an ceiliúradh ar siúl de ghnáth sa bhaile, agus gan na nósanna sin anseo in áit nua, bíonn an chumhaidh níos láidre.

(Dála an scéil, is téarma suimiúil é ‘cumhaidh’ ar cúpla leibhéal… úsáidtear ‘cumhaidh’ i dTír Chonaill (baininscneach) agus ‘cumha’ (firinscneach) i gcanúintí eile. Agus ciallaíonn sé ‘nostalgia,’ mar a dhéanaim aistriúchán air thíos, ach ciallaíonn sé rudaí eile, fosta, a bhaineann le duine a bhfuil tú fíorchairdiúil leis/a bhfuil grá agat air/a bhfuil tú muintire do a bheith fada uait, agus tá a fhios agat nach féidir leat é/í a fheiceáil arís. Tá muid ag foghlaim fán chumhaidh i rang Béaloideas le Lillis, agus tagann an téarma agus an mothúchán sin suas rialta go leor).

Níl mé é seo a rá ionas go mbíonn brón ort do mo chás… Níl mé ach ag machnamh, agus tá rudaí éagsúla ar siúl an tseachtain seo a bhfuil muid ag súil go mór leo. Tá féile Oíche Shamhna ar siúl an deireadh seachtaine seo (Féile ‘Galway Aboooo’… cliste, nach bhfuil?), agus beidh mé gleasta mar Audrey Hepburn Oíche Shamhna í féin in Árus na nGael sa chiorcal comhrá. Agus seans go ndéanfaidh mé brioscaí don ócáid, fosta! Ar scór ar bith, bígí ag smaointeamh ar bhur dtraidisiúin féin san tráth seo den bhliain, agus bainigí sult astu, cibé áit ina bhfuil sibh!

Beannachtaí,

Amanda

P.S. Oh, dála an scéil, rinne muid agallamh ar an raidió agus bhí sé ar siúl inniu! Cuirfidh mé an nasc idirlíon anseo i gceann cúpla lá.

___________________________________________________________________________________________

Hullo, friends,

Well, all the parents have gone back home to Massachusetts, and we’re settling back into our regular patterns again… classes Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, the lovely market on Saturdays, a few music sessions here and there. Autumn here is similar to autumn in MA (in terms of the growing cold and the light disappearing bit by bit), but the trees don’t have anything like the spectacular colors that we have in MA at all, and I do miss the bright oranges, yellows, and reds that are all around us home in MA this time of year.

With the leaving of our parents, I’m noticing the changing of the season, and I feel quite nostalgic from time to time. At first I thought I was just missing our parents after their visit, but then I received a wonderful package from my friend Carrie in the states. The two of us always do something together for Halloween, and she must have read my mind because she sent me a package with Halloweeny things in it… small things, like cookies she made (shaped like witches’ fingers) and silly things for me to wear as a costume. It was so special, like a beautiful little piece of home and the traditions that I am used to from there, and I actually cried a bit while I was opening this box. Then I read her letter, and she put the exact words to the emotions I’ve been feeling (and that other people feel too, I suppose), this time of year. We all feel a sort of nostalgia in the autumn, as we remember that the end of the year is coming and that certain things happen before it does. Even though we’re not all working on farms and our livelihoods don’t depend on the changing of the seasons these days, we all feel the change in the world and we prepare ourselves for the colder, darker period before us.

In Western MA, this is a reflective time, but it’s also a celebratory time and the people of that area look forward to autumn. Festivals are happening in all the smaller towns across the state, and children and families are preparing for Halloween and Thanksgiving. How interesting… it seems that there’s a certain kind of tension, or equilibrium, between the celebration and the loneliness or quietude that happens this time of year, but both things are concerned with traditions that are performed. That’s why I feel nostalgic at the moment, I think… that’s something that always happens, but without the familiar traditions and celebrations that I’m normally a part of, while I’m in a new place, the feeling of nostalgia is stronger than ever.

(By the way, the term ‘cumhaidh’ is very interesting on a couple of levels. Aside from some interesting grammatical elements between ‘cumhaidh’ (feminine, used in Ulster Irish) and ‘cumha’ (masculine, used in other dialects), it has a somewhat more complex meaning than simply ‘nostalgia,’ as I’ve been writing, that deals with a sort of sense of distance between yourself and people you are close to or love… cumhaidh is, therefore, a better term than ‘nostalgia’ for what I’m feeling at the moment, but there’s not quite the word for it in English, that I know of.

I’m not saying all of this so that you feel bad for me… I’m just reflecting, and besides there are a few things on this week that we are looking forward to quite a bit. There’s a Halloween Festival going on this weekend in the city (The ‘Galway Abooo’ Festival… cute, huh?), and I’m going to dress up as Audrey Hepburn on Halloween itself, I think, for the conversation group/party that will be there that night. Maybe I’ll make some witch-finger-cookies of my own and bring them! Anyway, be thinking about your own traditions and patterns that you do this time of year, and enjoy them, wherever you may be!

Blessings,

Amanda

P.S. Oh, by the way, we did a radio interview for Raidió na Gaeltachta and it went live today! I’ll put up the link to the recording of it as soon as it comes out. 🙂

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2 thoughts on “Cumhaidh an Fhómhair / The Nostalgia of Autumn

  1. Mark Bodah says:

    níl a fhios agam conas a chaileas an mír seo! ar aon nós tá sé léite agam anois! is maith liom na Ghostie Bops, smaoineamh iontach agus is cosúil go bhfuil craic sa damhsa! físeán, le do thoil!!!

    hey, ar miste leat má roinim an blag seo’s agaibh le aon chairde Gaeilge atá agam? Is iontach do chuid Ghailge agus is suimiúil an bhlag é ar fad. is dóigh go mbeadh suim i nGaeilgeóirí eile ann.!

    bí i dteagmháil liom go luath, a chairde, Mark

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