It is that time of year again. Spring is in the air. Everything seems fresh, bright and green. Very green. Ok, maybe a little too green. I happen to like green. It is my favourite colour. I also happen to really enjoy St. Patrick’s Day. In fact I have a reputation for enjoying St. Patrick’s Day. I draw the line at dying a river green like they do in Chicago every year and drinking green beer.
Really, what self-respecting Irish person would drink green beer? I’ll stick to my Guinness, Irish whisky and perhaps an Irish coffee to start the day.
Ireland has long been my not-so-secret obsession. When I was 15 I went to London, England on a school trip during spring break. It was announced over the PA system on the plane that we would be landing in Shannon, Ireland to refuel (or something) but that we would remain contained in the airport as we would not clear immigration until we reached our destination. As we flew over our pit stop it became quite clear why they call this the Emerald Isle. It was breathtaking. An overwhelming sense of well being came over me – an instant connection; and as we landed in Shannon tears were running down my face. I didn’t want to go to England. I wanted to stay right where I was. This is where I belonged. Eventually I was forced back onto the plane and completed my journey to England. I’ve wanted to return to Ireland ever since.
All things Irish became my passion. I have a collection of Irish music, Irish literature, Irish movies, clothing and all manner of Irish bric-a-brac. In fact, I have some of the tackiest Irish paraphernalia on the planet, I kid you not. When you celebrate your birthday on this rather brash day you tend to always have a great party to go to and a lot of really weird gifts.
Usually at this time of year I start playing the Irish music at the beginning of March and continue until He-Who threatens to leave me. Unfortunately, my music is in a box somewhere in our new digs in a town a couple of hours away. I did have the presence of mind to make sure I brought my Irish National Lacrosse Team jersey with me so I have something to wear.
My sister Pat made it her mission that I have the obligatory head gear.
As it turns out He-Who is leaving me on St. Patrick’s Day. Temporarily. He is heading out to the new place so that someone can be there first thing Monday morning for the internet hookup. I will stay behind until my housesitting duties are finished. So the party part will be a little light this year. I’m OK with that. I have participated enough for a lifetime. Once I misplaced a car that showed up in another town two days later. Another time a good friend’s husband put me to bed on their couch, swapping out garbage pails all night long. There was dancing, there was dancing on bar tops and there was dancing in the street…although, the definition of dancing was often broadened to just being able to stay upright. Like my youth, those days are long past. Believe it or not my absolute favourite St. Patrick’s Day party was on Maui. Now that one I would do over again.
This St. Patrick’s Day may not be quite the day I usually indulge in at this time of year but one thing is for sure.
There will be cake!