Tuesday, March 17, 2009
St. Patrick's Day 2009
When I was growing up in NH, there was a man called "Pat" who came into my life. He was an Irishman and by the time I knew him, he was already in his 50's, and yet he seemed ageless to me. He taught me how to raise chickens, to watch the skies for the weather and to garden. He used to sing while he was gardening, and thus I learned many of the Irish songs I enjoy today. He was gentle and loving, and so sweet-natured that for a long time I thought March 17th was the day he was being honored. Even though I found out later in school that it was a day for the man who drove out the snakes from Ireland, I still honor my "St. Pat" on this day. And now, all these many years later, I have discovered that there probably never were any snakes in Ireland (so no need to drive them out) and that there are likely several promulgators of the Catholic mission who might have been identified as "Patrick," for me this day is about a man who lived an honorable life and who taught me to do the same.