Tomhas na Teanga

Cé gurb amhlaidh go mbíonn an dúlra ina namhaid dúinn uaireanta, mar a bhí leis na stoirmeacha uafásacha a tharla i mbliana, níos minice is cara, fiú máthair dúinn é.  Even though sometimes nature is our enemy, as it was with the terrible storms that happened this year, more often it is a friend, even a mother to us.  Agus go háirithe san earrach agus sa samhradh, bíonn deis againn taitneamh a bhaint as.  And especially in the spring and summer, we have a chance to enjoy it.  Stadaimis agus bolaímis na bláthanna, mar sin!  So let’s stop and smell the flowers!

Is caitheamh aimsire breá an gharraíodóireacht, agus táim cinnte go bhfuil garraithe thar barr ag a lán ball dár n-ord seo.  Gardening is a great hobby, and I’m certain that a lot of our order’s members have great gardens.  Níl an ceann atá againne chomh galánta.  The one we have isn’t so fine.  Tá plandaí éagsúla ann, an iomarca luifearnach ina measc…  There are various plants, too many weeds amongst them…  Ach táthar ag súil go bhfaighimid glasraí dár gcuid féin as.  It is hoped that we will get our own vegetables from it.  Agus dar ndóigh, tá bláthanna ann, freisin.  And of course, there are flowers, too.

Mura bhfuil spás nó am go leor agat chun do gharraí féin a chur is freastal air, is iomaí garraí pobail atá ann.  If you don’t have space or time to plant and attend to your own garden, there are lots of community ones.  Tá ceann ag mo pharóiste.  My parish has one.  Tugann scaifte daoine ón gcomharsanacht aire dó.  A group of people from the neighborhood tend it.  Ar mo shlí ón traein go dtí m’oifig i mBrooklyn, siúlaim thar cheann eile, ar leis an gcomharsanacht é.  On the way from the train to my office…I walk past another one, which belongs to the neighborhood.  Níl na cinn seo an-mhór, ach tá siad go deas agus cé nach n-ithim na glasraí, bainim taitneamh as na bláthanna agus an boladh deas atá orthu (agus ar na luibheanna, freisin).  These aren’t very big, but they’re nice and although I don’t eat the veggies, I enjoy the flowers and their nice smell (and that of the herbs, too).

Tá garraithe móra poiblí ann, freisin – crannlanna ina measc.  There are also big public gardens – including arboretums.  Bhí an aimsir go dian ar na crainn i mbliana, agus cailleadh roinnt mhór díobh, faraor, ach fós féin, mhair an chuid is mó díobh, agus is breá an rud é am a mheilt i measc na gcrann galánta éagsúil.  The weather was hard on the trees this year, and a lot of them were lost, alas, but just the same, most of them lived, and it a fine thing to while away the time in the midst of various noble trees.  Ar na sean eastáit ar Inis Fada i Nua-Eabhrac, cuireadh crannlanna agus gairdíní breátha, agus tá roinnt mhór díobh seo ina bpáirceanna poiblí anois.  On the old estates on Long Island in NY, arboretums and fine gardens were planted, and a lot of them are public parks now.

San earrach, thug mé cuairt ar ghairdíní Hershey in PA.  In the spring, I visited Hershey Gardens…  Bhí na tiúilipí faoi bhláth ag an am, agus b’iontach an radharc iad.  The tulips were in bloom, and they were a wonderful sight.  Tá na garraithe seo ar bharr cnoic, agus is féidir Hershey Park a fheiscint uathu.  These gardens are on the top of a hill, and you can see…from them.  Crannlann atá ann chomh maith, agus tá fiú crónghiúisí acu.  There’s an arboretum too, and they even have redwoods.  Tá cróghiúis na caomhaire againn sa bhaile.  We have a dawn redwood at home.  Tá a lán acu seo sa Bhablóin, ar Inis Fada, mar atá.  There are a lot of these in Bablyon, on Long Island, as it happens.  Ach tá na cinn ón gcósta thiar – Sequoiadendron gigantea – acu in Hershey.  But they have the ones from the west coast…  Níl siad chomh mór leis na cinn in California, ach tá siad mór go leor.  They’re not as big as the ones in CA, but they’re big enough.

Tá Garraithe na Lus (na luibheolaíochta) mór le rá againn sa Bhroncs (agus in áiteanna eile), i Nua-Eabhrac.  We have big Botanical Gardens in the Bronx (and in other places), in NY.  Agus tá a leithéid ann ar fud na tíre, más níos lú an chuid is mó díobh.  And there are similar ones all over the country, even if they are usually smaller.  In Éirinn, tá Garraithe Náisiúnta na Lus ann i nGlas Naíon, sráidbhaile ó thuaidh ó Bhaile Átha Cliath.  In Ireland, the National Botanical Gardens are in Glasnevin, a town north of Dublin. Tá an méid seo leanas (agus níos mó) fúthu le fáil ar an suíomh idirlín www.heritageireland.ie/ga: The following (and more) can be found on the website…:  “Bunaíodh Garraithe Náisiúnta na Lus sa bhliain 1795.”  The NBG were founded in… “Tá clú agus cáil orthu as na tiomsacháin bhreátha de phlandaí ina bhfuil breis is 17,000 de speicis agus de chineálacha plandaí as áiteanna ar fud fad na cruinne.”  They are famous for their fine collection of plants, which includes more than [15,000 sa leagan Béarla atá acu – tá sé difriúil ar fad!] species and kinds of plants from places all over the world.  “Tá cáil orthu de bharr na ngairdíní áille tírdhreachtaithe agus na dtithe gloine, go háirithe Raon Cuarlíneach Turner agus Teach na Pailme Móire, atá athchóirithe go fíor-ornáideach agus plandaí curtha iontu.”  They’re famous for the beautiful landscaped gardens and greenhouses, especially the Turner Curvilinear Range and the Great Palm House, which have been restored very ornately with plants planted in them.

Agus is iomaí gairdín eile atá ann i mBaile Átha Cliath agus ar fud Éireann agus ar fud Meiriceá.  And there are many other gardens in Dublin and all over Ireland and all over America.  Tabhair cuairt ar cheann nó dhó sa samhradh seo!  Visit one or two this summer!

Tomhas na Teanga

Nach iontach iad mapaí (léarscáileanna) mar rud?  Aren’t maps wonderful?  Is breá liom féachaint orthu, agus samhlaím conas a bheadh na háiteanna orthu.  I love looking at them, and I imagine how the places on them would be.  Is breá liom taisteal, agus na pleananna a dhéanamh le mapaí.  I love to travel, and to make the plans with maps.  Agus an rud is taitneamhaí, sin na fíor-áiteanna sin a fhéachaint.  And the most enjoyable thing, that’s to see the real places.  Gach ponc ar an mapa, is baile nó cathair é – leis na mílte duine ina gcónaí ann.  Each dot on the map, it’s a town or a city – with thousands of people living there.  Gach líne ghorm, is abhainn í – agus ní fheadar cé chomh leathan agus atá sí.  Each blue line is a river – and who knows how wide it is?  Na cúpla orlach sin ar bhóthair, is na céadta míle folmha sin, minic go leor.  Those couple of inches on a road, that’s hundreds of empty miles, very often.  Níos minice ná ba mhaith liom a admháil, ní bhíonn meas mo mhéire cruinn go leor, agus bíonn na háiteanna níos faide óna chéile ná mar a cheap mé.  More often than I would like to admit, the measure of my finger isn’t accurate enough, and the places are further apart than I thought.  Níl an locht ar an mapa, ámh!  But that’s not the map’s fault!

Uaireanta, bíonn íomhá i mo cheann d’áit, mar a shamhlaigh mé é, agus ansin nuair a fheicim í ina steillbheatha, bíonn sí an-difriúil.  Sometimes, I have an image of a place in my head, as I imagined it, and then when I see it in reality, it’s very different.  Ach is iontach sin, agus foghlaimím as.  But that’s great, and I learn from it.  Sin an rud is fearr faoin taisteal – faightear aitheantas ar áiteanna, dhaoine, agus nósanna nach raibh ar aithne agat roimhe sin.  That’s the best thing about travelling – you get to know places, people and customs which you weren’t acquainted with before.  Faightear tuiscint níos mó ar an saol, agus ort féin, leis.  You get to know more about the world, and about yourself, too.  An bhfuil an bóthar sin tríd na sléibhte go deas?  Is that road through the mountains nice?  An bhfuil sé mar dhúshlán do dhuine carr a thiomáinte air?  Is it going to be a challenge to drive a car on?  Cén radharc a fheictear ann?  What view can you see there?  Ní thuigtear a leithéid gan a bheith ann.  You can’t understand such things unless you are there.  Agus is iomaí rud a tharlaíonn is a bhíonn ann nach mbíonn aon choinne agat roimhe.  And there are lots of things that happen and that are there that you don’t expect at all.  Fionnachtana nua.  New discoveries.  Ní gan chúis a deirtear go mbíonn siúlach scéalach.  It’s not for no reason that they say that travellers are full of stories.

Chuamar go Charleston, South Carolina, i measc áiteanna eile i mbliana.  We went to…among other places this year.  D’itheamar ag teach tábhairne Éireannach, agus chonaiceamar club eile Hibernian, atá ann le breis is 150 bliain.  We ate at an Irish pub, and we saw another Hibernian club, which has been around for more than 150 years.  Chonaiceamar Dún Sumpter ó Oileán Uí Shúilleabháin.  We saw Fort Sumpter from Sullivan’s Island.  Ní raibh a fhios agam roimh ré go raibh tionchar chomh mór sin ag sliocht na hÉireann ansin.  I hadn’t know before hand how much of an influence the Irish had there.  Cathair iontach álainn atá inti, agus an-stairiúil, dar ndóigh.  It’s a wonderfully beautiful city, and very historic, of course.

Áit eile a thugamar cuairt uirthi ná Richmond, Virginia.  Another place we visited was…  I dTeach Bán an Chomhcheangail, chonaiceamar sean-mhapa a rinneadh roimhe an gcogadh cathartha.  In the Confederate White House, we saw an old map which was made before the Civil War.  Bhí sé as dáta an lá a cuireadh i gcló é, is dócha, mar bhí cúrsaí ag athrú chomh tapa sin.  It was out of date the day it was printed, I suppose, because things were changing so quickly.  Ach fiú le sean-mhapa, bíonn a lán suilt le baint as, chun do mhachnamh a dhéanamh ar na hathruithe sin, agus ar stair na tíre.  But even with an old map, there’s a lot of pleasure to be derived from it, to think over those changes, and the country’s history.

Tá clár ar an teilifís dar teidil “Conas a bhFuair na Stáit a gCruthanna,” agus molaim é.  There’s a program on TV called “How the States Got Their Shapes,” and I recommend it.  Tá sé ar Bhealach na Staire.  It’s on the History Channel.  Díríonn sé ar an stair taobh thiar de na mapaí, ar nós spraíúil.  It focuses on the history behind the maps, in a fun way.  Ní tharlaíonn teorainneacha de thaisme, agus is an-suimiúil iad na scéalta a bhaineann leo.  Borders don’t happen by accident, and the stories that relate to them are very interesting.

Is féidir linn taisteal trí mheáin leabhar, an idirlín, nó tuairiscí dhaoine eile.  We cam travel my means of books, the internet, or the reports of other people.  Is breá an rud é na scéalta, na pictiúir, is an t-eolas nua a fhaighimid a roinnt lena chéile.  It’s a great thing to share the stories, pictures, and new information which we get.  Agus fiú murab fhéidir linn féin turas ar bith a dhéanamh, is féidir le duine ar bith féachaint ar na mapaí is a bheith ag samhlú na n-áiteanna.  And even if we can’t make any kind of trip ourselves, anybody can look at the maps and imagine the places.  Cá bhfios nach mbeadh deis agat dul ann lá éigin?  Who knows, maybe you’ll be able to go there some day!