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County Kildare

(Desperately Seeking a Room for the Night)

Excerpt from Kristy's Journal:
Friday - September 13, 2002

8:43 pm
St. Brigid's WellAfter lunch in Kilkenny we went to Kildare County to try to get to the Kinsdale Stud Farm. We were stuck behind this enormous piece of construction machinery for 20-30 minutes that could only go 10 mph. Ridiculous really. He refused to pull over and let anyone pass. So on this double white-lined road with no room on either side, people are literally dive bombing out, hoping that no one is coming and darting around both me and the mammoth piece of machinery.

We finally made it to Kinsdale and alas the Stud Farm was closed, but we came across St. Brigid's Well and stopped for a visit. Definitely a pilgrimage center of some sort. There were signs about stopping at each marker and saying the rosary. And people had left trinkets and rosaries presumably for St. Brigid.

Because I picked up a children's book in one of the tourist traps, I happen to know St. Brigid's story. She was born before Christianity had spread through Ireland. She was the only daughter of a tenant farmer. She met St. Patrick, began to follow his teachings and was converted to Christianity. She came home and pledged never to marry, to serve only God. Soon other girls heard about this and came to practice Christianity with Brigid. They began to outgrow the farm and Brigid's father asked her where she would get the land for her and the other girls to live on. She said that the lord of the lands would give it to her.

So, off Brigid went with a few of her followers. And they encountered the owner of the land on the road. She asked him for a piece of land, in fact, the land she was standing on right now seemed perfect she told him. To which he replied, "I would hardly give you my poorest lands, let alone my best." So she asked him this. "Would you give me the lands that my cloak will cover." Laughing he agreed. Brigid took off her cloak and had each of her 4 girls hold an end and walk in opposite directions. The cloak spread far and the the owner was amazed. He gave Brigid the land and converted to Christianity shortly after. And thus goes the tale of St. Brigid.

After St. Brigid's Well, we fruitlessly searched for a B&B and we were turned away twice with no vacancies. (Apparently, there was a wedding in town.)

So at our fourth stop, exhausted, dirty and hungry they told us that they "kind of had a room." That we would need to go bed early, because the floor boards squeak. Regardless, it was 40 Euros/person, so we said "Great, we'll take it!" The owners were very sweet and even said they would have breakfast ready at 8 am, so we could hike off to Dublin to return our rental car first thing in the morning.

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