On Being Irish, Lucky and Green
March 16, 2016 § 6 Comments
It’s upon us yet again – the day of dance and drink, and feasting on Irish bacon and cabbage, all to honor St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland.
Of course, I’m always a little conflicted about whether I should be celebrating St. Patrick’s Day. I’m not fully Irish, you see, but I love potatoes, ballads and Liam Neeson’s accent, so maybe some of that counts a little.
I’m not all that lucky either, at least when it comes to things like winning at lotteries or blackjack ~ except for the time my sister and I, restless after being cooped up in a very, very long car ride, went looking for four-leaf clovers on a remote North Carolina mountainside (because what else do you do when you find yourself in a field of clover?). To our surprise, we both found one. Then we found more. And more! And then we started finding 5-leaf clovers, and even some 6-leafers! This was magical, I’m telling you straight out. I’ve not seen a single four-leaf clover before or since (much less the five or sixers). So maybe this just means there’s always a bit of luck along the way if we take time to notice.
As for being green, well sure, it’s a great color that comes in a slew of shades, but I can’t say I’m fond of green beer. I do love green vegetables, though, so maybe that counts. My eyes are sometimes green. And I’m sure that some Leprechauns are green, but not all of them. And this is all quite confusing, so maybe we should just leave the whole being green bit to Kermit.
Then of course, there’s the name. Are we sure, really sure, it’s all about St. Patrick? … or might there’ve been a wee slip of the pen when writing St. Patricia. Hmmmm. : )
Speaking of… Saint Pat was actually born in Roman Britain (way back in the fifth century), but apparently was kidnapped at 16 and brought to Ireland to work as a slave. (I did not know this!) He escaped (phew!), but returned to Ireland in later years, bringing Christianity with him, appealing to both the Roman Catholics and the Irish Protestants of the land. (No small feat in Ireland… so I’m guessing he must have been charming, as well as devout.) In the process, he also elevated the status of the shamrock, by using its three leaves to explain the Holy Trinity (Father, Son and Holy Spirit).
After nearly thirty years of evangelism, he died on March 17, in the year 461. Patrick has endured as the principal champion of Irish Christianity.
And with all that said, it’s back to work ~ perhaps wearing a spot of green, feeling lucky, and dining on spuds with a whisper of an Irish blessing in my ear … whether any of it counts or not.
May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind always be at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
and rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of His hand.