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On this gloomy and overcast Saint Patrick’s day eve, my mind travels to memories of lessons and adventures I had long ago in my childhood.
Primarily raised by the eccentric and nostalgic matriarchs of my family, my early childhood tutelage was that of generations past. As a result ,my imagination was cultivated with superstitious stories and a culture filled with earnest protocols.
As far back as I can remember, the subjects of these stories were spoken of as a matter fact. The elder women of my family would mention them several times a day. Perhaps it would not be a specific mention but one as simple as “knock on wood” and their presence was summoned.
Due to this vital education in survival, I know what to do if one needs to get rid of pixies or fairies from the pantry, if god forbid changeling is suspected, how to find a unicorn or a kelpie and to avoid Shellycoat so as not to loose my way.
Armed with this knowledge and a bravery stocked by the fire of determination I would joyfully venture into the forest in search of the beings I had been raised knowing but never seeing.
The reason for this other world, fairy guided walk down memory lane is the story that Saint Patrick (a Catholic) drove the snakes (the Druids) out of Ireland. I’ve always thought it ironic that poor St. Patrick shares his day with symbols of Druid mythology. The leprechaun being the main character.
But is this odd? My Nana, a good catholic woman, who later in life attended mass everyday, was one of my chief advisers on everything fairy and the facts of what we call superstition.
I see no reason why we cannot have saints and fairies. Superstitions tangled and entwined serve to as a thread tying us to our past – To the culture of our ancestors.
I end this post with a proposal . Pour a cup of Barry’s tea or a glass of Jameson Irish Whiskey (Jameson was a Scotsman by birth) ponder on whomever you wish. God, saint or fairy.
Thanking our ancestors for the life they have given us.