Happy St. Patrick's Day
I was raised in a family that honored holidays. One year my mother and I made sugar cookies cut out like yellow chicks and shamrocks, and I took those to work in a towel wrapped wicker basket. One year, at the insistence of my co-workers, I brought in my mother's shamrock templates and we spent a few hours cutting out shamrocks to put around the office. My mother would invariably be given a shamrock, (or buy one,) and it would go inside her kitchen window sill, so that became tradition, too: having a shamrock plant.
I still have the pendant part of my babyhood shamrock necklace (the bracelet went missing,) and I still have silly shamrock earrings I paid a dollar for at a party store two years ago. I inherited the shamrock paper templates. I inherited the Waterford. I inherited the shamrock cookie cutters. What I can't have or replace is my mother calling me saying, "Can you stop and buy some beef so we can make an Irish dinner for your father?"
My parents had large gardens, and Mom would call when certain things were blooming to either cut (flowers) or pull for dinner. She always loved the new potatoes and baby peas coming in, and for some reason, I always associate that dish with this season as well, because now is when that crop is ready, and the coloration of cream with bright green.
Oh the little white road climbs over the hill,
My feet they must follow, they cannot be still,
Must follow and follow though far it may roam.
Oh little white road you will never come home.
Oh, the hills they are patient and steadfast and wise,
They look over the valleys and up to the skies,
But the little white road scrambles up them and over.
Oh, little white road you are ever the rover.
I fain would go with you right down to the sea
Where a ship with white sails would be waiting for me,
Go sailing and sailing to strange lands afar
Where deserts and forests and lost cities are.
But when I grew weary of my gypsying ways
I'd sail home again for to end all my days
In the little grey cottage, beside the grey hill.
But you, little road, would be wandering still
May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind always be at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
and rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of His hand.
A small piece of corned beef I bought at Whole Foods and shredded with boiled cabbage and a cubed orange on my mother's antique Majorca plate and her antique silver (Williams Rogers "Berkshire") fork from 1847.
Postscript: My ancestry is British-Scottish. Go figure.