Cogitation 11 Saturday 17 March 2018 St Patrick’s Day reigns green today with parades, parties and religious festivals, both in Ireland and across the Irish diaspora.
Use of the Irish Gaelic language is one marker of the celebration. This religious and civic holiday marks the day Ireland’s patron saint died, some say in 460, others around 493.
I don’t know the extent of current religious observances, though that’s certainly the cause for celebrating the abducted Brit who brought Christianity to Ireland.
Briefly, at age 16, Patrick was kidnapped by Irish pirates from his home in Great Britain and taken to Ireland to work as a slave tending animals. Through prayer he became closer to God, opening the way for his conversion to Christianity.
After six years, he escaped his Irish slave holders and on a torturous journey found his way back to family in Great Britain.
In Europe he trained as a cleric and then returned to northern and western Ireland as a missionary, later serving as bishop.
Patrick is considered Ireland’s main patron saint, along with saints Brigit of Kildare and Columba. A patron saint, one source notes, is seen “as a heavenly advocate of values like nation, place, craft and family, among other things.”
Historians note that Patrick may have used the three-leaf clover to explain the Holy Trinity. I like the Irish proverb that adds a fourth leaf: “A good friend is like a four-leaf clover, hard to find and lucky to have.”
The Roman Catholic Church, the Greek Orthodox Church, the Anglican Communion, and the Lutheran Church observe the St Patrick Day Feast, even as the wider world celebrates high-spirited civic and cultural trappings of the day.
St Paddy quotes
From Adrienne Cook: “St Patrick’s Day is an enchanted time–a day to begin transforming winter’s dreams into summer’s magic.”
One of the well-known Irish blessings: “May the road rise up to meet you. May the wind be always at your back.”
Another: “May your troubles be less /And your blessings be more / And nothing but happiness / Come through your door.”
Here’s a tip of the hat to St Patrick!
From green Cornwall, a 40-second video tribute to St Paddy Day
You may need to let the video pause a few times while it plays. Why? To catch its breath maybe. Click on the video to play.
Cornwall Week: land of many colors, tastes and friends
The death of Stephen Hawking brings the life and work of a scientific genius into focus. Much can be mined from his work on black holes, his cautions on the rise of robots, his incredible achievements given severest physical limitations, and much more.
In recent posts I’ve mentioned mud, coming to terms with that sticky, slippery, suctioning stuff underfoot. It took reader Mary Mishler to remind me of the wider use of mud. She wrote, “I made some nice pots from ‘Glorified Mud.’ So it has its points!”
Indeed, mud does have its points. Here in Cornwall the Bernard Leach Pottery is celebrating 10 years since restoration. This world famous pottery brought together the influence of the East on the pottery of the West (Leach was born in Japan). It’s a lovely working pottery right here in St Ives.
Nice and easy. . . . Constraints of adverse weather might seem like a big limitation to rounding week on week. On the contrary, we’re seeing some ideal weather for walking. By living locally we can walk out from our front door, get on without a car, interact with people, attend church, use the library, explore the immediate area, do occasional day trips offered by friends, and anticipate at least one overnight trip down the road.
Go mud! Go green! Go Irish! “Take the world nice and easy, and the world will take you the same.” Irish proverb.