Last year on this day, I wrote about being St. Patrick’s granddaughter.
My grandfather, born in 1906 in the far reaches of Beaufort County, North Carolina, was named Columbus St. Patrick. (Read the post if you like).
You’d think our family would be Catholic, celebrating this day with the best of them, but we aren’t and we don’t. What a mystery, his having that name. Legend has it that his grandfather came to America from Ireland, but records are sketchy. One of these days I’ll have my DNA tested by Ancestry.com to prove how green my blood really is (it’s metaphorical, Mr. Spock. Although being related to you would be . . . fascinating).
I love Irish things. My wedding band bears a Claddagh. Hearing an Irish tenor takes my breath, stirs my soul, fills me with an ache, a longing. Whenever I visit New York City, I have to stop by St. Patrick’s Cathedral; I could stay inside indefinitely, savoring the profound beauty, the grandeur, the reverent hush. It’s one of my all-time favorite places. I adored Frank McCourt and met him years ago when he came to speak at North Carolina State University—it was snowing that night. Magical. I have a shamrock growing in a pot on my kitchen table and I even had an Irish Setter once. His name was Dublin. I grew up eating Irish potatoes grown by my grandfather or from the potato sheds of his farming community; Granddaddy’s pronunciation was ishe (for years I thought he was saying ice) potatoes. I’d love to visit Ireland.
I thought, to commemorate this day, that I’d post a lovely quote from St. Patrick and reflect upon it, maybe in verse.
This, however, is the quote I found, and for the life of me (remember the Irish keen sense of humor), I can’t find another one to top it at present.
So, Happy St. Patrick’s Day, one and all—with a special nod to Harry Potter fans:
Do you suppose it’s true, that St. Patrick was a Parselmouth, and his Muggle friends never knew?
~David J. Beard (1947–2016), tweet, 2012 March 17th