Monday motherhood: the old sod, Happy St. Patrick’s Day

the girls at moher

Tara, Kerry, Erin at the Cliffs of Moher.

The earthquake this morning made me feel spry.  Getting out of bed is generally a slow process but today, I was up and running to the girls’ rooms like I was twenty-four.  Combined with coloring my hair just awhile ago, back to its former red, I feel almost like a leprechaun if leprechauns were women, living in the open, not making shoes or hording gold coins.  If I’m captured today while dancing a jig, I will certainly grant three wishes upon my release.

We traveled to Ireland, the five of us, in November 2012.  You can read about our journeys here, here, here, and here.  We talk often about the old sod, how happy it made us, how comfortable we felt among the ruins, under grey skies, amid green hills.  The smell of peat fires drew us inexorably into the spell that is Eire.

While I consider myself grounded, I’ve never argued with mysticism – that which cannot be explained that takes us somewhere closer to God, to ourselves, to a deeper place than the shallow one where we too often live.  The ocean is a mystic to many, to me.  Waves crashing, salt within the breezes, I feel different at the sea, better.  In Ireland, we were never too far from the shore.  The Cliffs of Moher took my breath away, but so did Waterville at one end of the Ring of Kerry.  A morning run along Galway Bay was the perfect way to start any day, so I was sad that it was the last of our trip.  We plot our return to Erin regularly.

All of this is to say, I’m Irish to the core.  The land of my grandparents got into my bones and my head like no other place I’ve been.  Today, on St. Patrick’s Day, we celebrate the Irish – the stories, the songs, the spirit.  I’ll have dinner with the girls (Erin, Kerry, Tara) while the husband whoops it up in New York.  Instead of corned beef, we’ll have salmon (the sea!) and soda bread and make a toast:

May good luck be your friend in whatever you do;

And may trouble be always a stranger to you.

Two more things:

I don’t like Paul Ryan, though I’d dislike him less if his name were Paul Smith.  He gives Irish Americans a bad name.  Timothy Egan from the New York Times (not the award-winning children’s book author Tim Egan, who happens to be my brother) wrote this article yesterday to chastise Ryan for his forgetfulness.  Give it a read.

In closing:

LINES TO ERIN by J. J. Callanan

When dullness shall chain the wild harp that would praise thee,
When its last sigh of freedom is heard on thy shore,
When its raptures shall bless the false hearth that betrays thee -
Oh, then, dearest Erin, I'll love thee no more!

When thy sons are less tame than their own ocean waters,
When their last flash of wit and genius is o'er,
When virtue and beauty forsake thy young daughters -
Oh, then, dearest Erin, I'll love thee no more!

When the sun that now holds his bright path o'er the mountains
Forgets the green fields that he smiled on before,
When no moonlight shall sleep on thy lakes and thy fountains -
Oh, then, dearest Erin, I'll love thee no more!

When the name of the Saxon and tyrant shall sever,
When the freedom you lost you no longer deplore,
When the thoughts of your wrongs shall be sleeping forever -
Oh, then, dearest Erin, I'll love thee no more!

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

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  1. John W says

    I am so upset to learn that leprechauns can’t be female. Otherwise, your article is intriguing. It’s the same feeling for me when I return to New England. (Yes, New England; not South Carolina!). Happy SPD to you and yourn.

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