When I left London I knew it was my one true love and there would never be another. I knew it would be in my heart forever and that the fire for it would always burn deep and true. I knew it could never be replaced. And I was wrong.
There is another lover in my life - one that seduces slowly and gently, drawing you in gradually until you realize you are completely and hopelessly entangled. It's the lover that even if you are forced to leave you will never be truly free of again. It seeps into your soul and silently takes over your heart. It does this all so carefully that you don't even realize until it's too late how far you've gone. It's the lover that you would return to in a second, the one that will always be in the corner of your mind, the one that pops unbidden into your thoughts and dreams. This lover is, of course, Ireland. Ireland doesn't try to flash with brilliance, and it has no need to dazzle you with bright lights. It is a charmer of subtle character, one that simply sits and waits for you to discover it. It knows that you will love it - it doesn't need to force itself on you. It has no need to show off or convince you that you must have it. Ireland is the lover your friends envy.
When I left Ireland I felt like I left a part of my heart behind. It was inexplicable and quite utterly different from my love affair with London. London left me overwhelmed, and, while continuing to hunger for it, wary of it, too. Ireland renewed my soul and my heart. It healed the wounds London's rough handling had left, softly smoothing them away with green vistas, wild castles, and a gentle spirit. I will no doubt see London again and we will embark on another brief fling of mad and epic proportions. Ireland and I, however, have entered into an affair of depth and complexity of an entirely different nature. Ireland is where my heart belongs. Ireland is where my heart truly sings.