Saturday, March 17, 2012

St. Patrick's Day

Happy St. Patrick's Day! Are you wearin' green today?

What little I know about my own heritage includes mostly Scots and Germans, but my brother-in-law is the official poet of the Higgins clan (for true) and so I've married into a family that has strong ties, although we haven't dyed any rivers green of late.

 A few years ago, the family geneaologist (Grandpa Jack), his two sons, and his grandson did a tour of the Emerald Isle in search of family ties. At one point they began calling it the "No More Ruined Abbeys Tour," but they had a wonderful time and came home agreeing that it was an unforgettable journey that made them feel even more connected to their roots in County Clare.

I'm actually sitting in my office today sporting my husband's black SORT (Special Operations Response Team) T-shirt editing my next book in the Quilt Chronicles series, but I can't allow the day to pass without a nod to ancient history.

Here's a link that I found fascinating regarding who Saint Patrick was:

And a note from the Huffington Post about St. Patrick's Day in America: "St. Patrick's Day is deeply rooted in American soil. As early as the mid-nineteenth century, lavish and elaborate St. Patrick's parades were an annual fixture ... These parades tended to be not only Irish but emphatically Catholic

As to ancient history of the British Isles, I highly recommend Linda Windsor's book Healer, which takes place in ancient times and imparts an amazing amount of knowledge about the history of Christianity in the British Isles. I just finished it this week, and was moved to tears by some of the beautiful accounts of faith in action.

I've been fascinated by King Arthur and Camelot since the days when Richard Harris and Franco Nero were vying for Queen Guinevere's heart. That was 1967. It seems about ten minutes ago. Two years later, I wrote a research paper comparing Le Morte d'Arthur with The Once and Future King. The cover of that paper tells me that I wrote it for "English 8A" and turned it in on May 12, 1969:

"Volumes have been written about the reign of one King Arthur who, with his unpredictable Queen Guinevere, tried to create a new civilization at Camelot. And then came Sir Lancelot du Lake. The tragedy of the eternal triangle created when Guinevere and Lancelot fall in love has been interpreted by countless writers. Herein, Sir Thomas Mallory's Le Morte D'arthur, written in the 1400s, will be compared with T.H. White's The Once and Future King, written in 1939 ..." and so on for fifteen double-spaced typewritten pages.

Do you remember Franco Nero? He ended up married to the actress who played Queen Guinevere, Vanessa Redgrave. And I never forgot those blue eyes and enjoyed seeing them reunited in the film "Letters to Juliet" in 2010. Plucks at the romantic heartstrings, it does. 

Well, I've gone far afield from St. Patrick's Day, haven't I. I'll re-circle and end with this wonderful prayer from St. Patrick.

I bind to myself today
God's power to guide me,
God's might to uphold me,
God's wisdom to teach me,
God's eye to watch over me,
God's ear to hear me,
God's Word to give me speech,
God's hand to guide me,
God's way to lie before me,
God's shield to teach me,
God's Host to secure me,
Against the snares of demons,
Against the seductions of vices,
Against the lusts of nature,
Against everyone who meditates injury to me,
Whether far or near,
 Whether few or with many.

Slainte! --Stephanie

1 comment:

  1. As always, these posts are fun and interesting to read, Stephanie. My daughter recently recommended Healer as well, so it's on my list. :) Like many Americans, my family tree has some Irish roots, along with Scots, Basque and who knows what else thrown into the mix. When we were kids we'd call pups of mixed or unknown parentage Heinz 57 dogs. After tracing our family tree, I might fall into that category! :D