Today is my blog-a-versary. It’s no surprise to me that the day I chose to start blogging five years ago was St. Patrick’s Day. We Irish have the gift of storytelling after all. It’s in our blood. Though I must admit that once a year around this time I slide on a scale between bemused and irritated at the bastardization of our culture with the westernized version of this holiday. Green beer? Really? No self respecting Irish lad or lassie would taint their beer by tinting it. Not truly. Besides, give me a Jameson’s in a glass and I’ll be just fine, thank you very much.
Case in point: me, four years ago in Ireland. I kept that seat warmed all night.
I always loved that scene in My Big Fat Greek Wedding where the father says that either people are Greek or they wish they were. Every year at this time I get the same feeling about the Irish. I’m proud of my heritage. More than proud. I take it to heart that I’m Irish by way of my Dad, and not because the roots go WAY back, but because he was born there, and lived there for most of his childhood, coming to Canada to live his teen years and the rest of his adult life, but we’ve all been back. All seven of us kids. We’ve all gone there to pay homage to the country that shaped our own childhoods.
So, I giggle a little when I see the green wigs coming out and the green beads (we’re not Mardi Gras!) and all the kiss me I’m Irish buttons and pins and t-shirts.
But I have the voice of my Irish Nana in my head, soothing me with her lilt. I have Maeve Binchy telling me her stories and Dara and Tommy to make me laugh. I have a million bed time tales from my Dad about why Cuchulain was the greatest hero ever and why you should NEVER pick up a stray comb from the road. I know to look out for faery rings on the ground and I wept when I read Morgan Llewellyn’s 1912, and 1916….
I have stood in the doorway of Grania’s castle and leapt on the shores of the Emerald Isle. I know that my heart beats with the warrior blood of my ancient ancestors and my love is as strong as Connemara marble.
So, my fellow Irish, be you of the Isle in your blood or only in your heart, I say Lá Fhéile Pádraig Sona Daoibh!!!