Reflections on a Happy Saint Patrick’s Day

Reflections on a Happy Saint Patrick’s Day March 18, 2021

We wore green, I put on the music of Celtic Folk and cooked corned beef. My youngest created a home for Leprechauns the night before and they left behind some dollar coins, a green donut and Irish Spring Shampoo plus flowers and a note. She thrilled at the discovery.


I think the geneology breaks down such that we get into 16ths and 32nds when you look at my kids but it doesn’t really matter. We’re irish enough, in spirit as much as genetics. We listened to music that carried stories both in the lyrics and in the memories of when we first heard these songs. Alexa indulged our requests.   There was one song she couldn’t find.

I knew the chorus and the line, “My house is gone, my car blew up, my cat died.”   Senior year of college, we sat in the student center listening to an Irish singer and joining in when we knew the words and even when we didn’t and he told this story about the little things.  It was another perfect moment, when being with everyone around me felt like a hint of heaven. It wasn’t so much the food (which was good) or the drinks (which were non-alcoholic honest), or the songs but the full presence of everyone, and the unrushed nature of that time together.  The chorus echoed throughout the student center.

“It’s the little things in life that will kill you…
It’s the little things that really do you in…
Oh you can try for peace of mind
But the hand of fate is blind,
It’s the little things that really do you in..”

Alas, Google failed me.

Meanwhile, life spooled on. The two youngest worked with their father to strike the garden and prepare it for spring. The oldest drove to UMBC to pick up his brother. Two of us worked on apple dumplings for dessert, and two others worked on some art work. The busy joy of our household unbidden, unorganized, and yet real reminded me, that ordinary time is extraordinary time, even in Lent.  “That God walks amongst the pots and pans,” and infuses even the mundane with opportunities for grace.   I wondered that He doesn’t mind just leaving grace everywhere for the taking, that we could find it as easily as I could dropped pencils, socks or shoes.  We joked about nicknames and revealed each others ignorance in a series of trivia questions about women artists –the artist challenged us to name five…and math, the teacher stumped us and I reminded her, I gave up math after high school. I reveal my ignorance on any subject within twenty minutes of talking, it’s why I have no pending invitations for Ted talks. My gift of blarney only goes so far.

We served, we sat, and everyone ate together, and this was a moment of joy. Everything fell away in the noise of all ten talking about anything and everything and nothing as they ate. We’ve had a year of solitude and fear, and yet somehow, today felt like a break through and a reminder, that it won’t always be ash, it won’t always be Lent. The pussywillows are budding, and crocus and narcissus blooming. Hope is springing. I sat thinking back on the day in wonder, that as good as this day was, and it was good, the joy to come is infinitely bigger. We are so blessed even to know this great reality is always getting closer to being fully experienced. We will know something of Easter soon, and the fullness of Easter some day. Joy for what is, and what will be. That’s all I could think. Thank God, thank God.

Maybe it’s better that the song is lost, because the reality is better than the song.

It’s the little things in life that will thrill you.
It’s the little things that take you deeper and deeper in.
If you long for peace of mind, love and serve your family and be kind.
It’s the little things that lets Heaven begin….    Happy Saint Patrick’s day and every day going forward!

Easter is coming.

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