Body, Mind, Spirit Magazine

Happy Saint Patrick's Day from Greece to Ireland

By Rachel
Happy Saint Patrick's Day from Greece to Ireland Hello Fellow Adventurers,
I hope this day finds you well. My day seems to be one of evaluation and reflection. I’m evaluating this backyard world travel experiment. It doesn’t seem to be moving at the pace I’d like it to. Has it been over a month since my last correspondence? And I’ve been in Greece for so long. The rest of the world is just out there waiting for me.
I guess I’ll take solace in the fact that the rest of the world’s not going anywhere. I must somehow try to fit it into my life while I chauffeur my two little ones to school and dance and soccer and play dates. While I cook their dinners, cleanup after them, give them baths, help with homework, breakup fights, bandage little boo-boos. . .
The world’s in no danger of going anywhere. I, on the other hand, am on a journey. My path has crossed with those of two beautiful little people who now rely largely on my guidance to patiently and lovingly start them off right on theirs. Priorities, then, are determining how I conduct my virtual travels.
Anyway, Greece in the back of my mind is a nice place to be stuck. I’d like to “stay” here until Easter, the biggest Greek festival of the year. I’d like to visit the Agia Sophia Cathedral down the road in L.A. I’d like to make the acquaintance of a Greek lady, whose contact information I now have, and attempt a woefully basic reading of Greek writing. I’m still on a quest to eat healthier the way of the Greek diet. Let’s see if I can fold all these into the mix of my daily routines.
It’s March now. My daughters are painting rocks green and leaving them outside for leprechauns to hide gold coins underneath. Leprechaun traps they’ve meticulously built are strewn around the house. Our thoughts are in Ireland, about fifteen degrees latitude north of Athens. I’d like to go there now for just a brief visit in my virtual teleporter and find out a little about St. Patrick’s Day.
St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland, took Christianity there. He used the shamrock to depict the holy trinity. Legend has it he drove snakes out of Ireland. Snakes may never have lived there, in which case this legend serves purely as metaphor. Some sources cite March 17, St. Patrick’s Day, as the day he died sometime around 400 A.D.
These are the “facts” that have filtered down through a millennium and a half and landed in the internet from where I fished them out this morning. But let’s not think them facts so much as a few simple notes around which a grand symphony is built. The notes form the backbone and have lent their names to the symphony. But the movements are how we dance around them. How little girls paint rocks and look for leprechauns. How a city decides to color a river green for a day. How parades are held throughout the world, near and far away from Ireland, which itself observes St. Patrick’s Day as a public holiday.
“A lively Irish expatriate community in Greece has assured that you'll never be far from an Irish bar on St. Patrick's Day” claims one website and proceeds to list bars throughout Greece for 2011 festivities. In my neck of the woods, community centers and churches have been hosting their own celebrations.
So let the leprechauns run amok, let the green beer flow, and let Irish stew and cabbage fill your plate this St. Patrick’s Day. “Everyone’s Irish on March 17th,” proclaims a sign pictured in a website I stumbled across this morning. Let’s take this to heart and let our inner green shine.
Until next time, this is the Backyard World Traveler, signing off.

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