Dating Magazine

Us and Us on St. Patrick’s Day

By Datecoachtoni @CoachToni

Today is the Feast of St. Patrick—and the day we all like to feel a little Irish. There may be a bit of smugness in those of us with truly Irish names, faces, and bloodlines—however it is pretty cool that everyone wants to be one of us, if just for the day.

As you move through your day, you will see many folks wearing something or everything green. Some will be talking about their Great-Grandmother who came here from the old sod. Still others will be making plans to skip out of work early and head to a local Irish establishment, where they can drink Harp and Black and Tans, and listen to an Irish band sing stories of the land from whence they came–a place of beauty wrapped in myths and legends, a place where things go bump in the night, reminding us we are never really alone.

I’m reminded today of a time in my very early adulthood when I lived for a brief while in Ireland. My then fiancé was first generation Irish-American and he had family, property and much history there. We moved among the people as one of them, not as tourists or visitors. We attended Kalies (Ceili in gaelic) in the large (dry) dance halls, moving in a thunderous rhythm for hours on end; we fished at night on a bay lit by starlight and moonlight, one time catching over 40 mackerel in less than an hour; we wandered the countryside, attended festivals and regattas, listened to old stories of “the troubles” by lamplight with family who had no electricity or indoor plumbing—and very quickly I felt like this was home, the place my people come from.

Those who came before me were named O’Leary, Daily, Haney, Sweeney, Cloughessy, and O’Neill—this last one belonging to a famous Irish-American playwright, my Grandmother’s cousin, Eugene. From my earliest beginnings I heard stories about the potato famine—one Great Grandfather was born just after his parents arrived here in the 1850’s in the hull of a ship. He grew to be a famous lawman and Commissioner of Police of Philadelphia. I distantly remember his much younger widow, my great-grandmother, who died when I was a child. Their legacy to me is my face, my red hair, my love of poetry and great stories, my passion for books—and my ability to put words on paper and create something there.

In a world that has become so divided by war, ethnic in-fighting, racism and bigotry, financial and other inequity, and right here at home, the Presidential Primaries—wouldn’t it be nice if we could all focus on our similarities, if even for just one day. How about we offer a toast to the well-being of all people, Irish or not? After all, if we can manage a bit of green today, think of what could be possible tomorrow? Erin go bragh!

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