No, I was not born in Ireland but my father was…and really I don’t think it would matter if he were or not; he would still have raised me as he did because he was Irish. Being Irish is not like being an Italian or Russian…being Irish in something deeper than blood, it’s in the soul.
We are a strange lot we are…and I guess it takes an Irishmen to understand an Irishmen. We are storytellers from long ago. We are people who stem from a different line of beings…druid beings…Beings whose unique bloodline has passed on this special connection to our heritage.
I have a wonderful Irish neighbor. When by chance we meet on a walk or a passing through the neighborhood, he always brings me to my roots of being Irish. One day it could just be his gentle brogue or the way he says something that snaps me right back to the tales me father use to tell. Another time it’s a story he beautifully recites about one of his many journeys back to our homeland, and then there are time like tonight…when he stops by for a wee visit and gives me the most special gift of all…soil from the most sacred part of Ireland.
Now I know some would say…soil? What’s so great about soil?
My reply is this; This Irish soil is US. We Irish have our blood, our hearts and our souls within this soil. It is Ireland and Ireland is US. Our roots go back too far to remember, it goes back so far at the time there was no written language.
He went there himself and made this wonderful journey and in this soul finding moment he thought of me. Now if that isn’t just like an Irishmen…he’s there for his own soul’s experience and within that moment he thinks of another Irishman…and what it would do for my soul to have this soil…knowing I may never get a chance to go home meself. He understood what this gift would do for me, for my soul, for my spirit.
Not only did he bring me blessed soil but he found the perfect vessel of green and brown to symbolize the colors of our land, but he sealed it with an Irish coil…a coin that has the Harp and a clover and the true name of our home on it (éire)
The gift touched me soul. But me Irish friend did something else to make this gift even more special…he wrote out the story of this soil. And I’d love to share his beautiful words with you.
Given to you, ‘Tis said that himself Saint Phadrig (Patrick) walked on this very soil on his trek up the mountain of what was then called Croghan Aigle, the home of the pagan Goddess Corra, to show the people below that his God was more powerful than the Gods they believed in. Seeing Phadrig was a pious man and a threat to claim Ireland as a Christian land, Corra first filled the skies with hideous birds of pray, made from demons who resided on the mount, so many as to “blacken the sky, so no sun would shine through” hoping he would abandon his quest. When that failed she descended to the lake below and turned herself into a giant serpent and swallowed the water, spat it out and turned it blood red, now known as Lough Derg (the red lake). After Phadrid finished for forty days of fasting, he also descended the mountain, went directly to the lake and drove his staff into the blood red waters turning Corra into the islands that now dot the pristine waters of Lough Derg and banishing forever more, all serpents and snakes. The soil you now have is absent of the rich topsoil that is found elsewhere throughout Ireland. Because of the barrenness of Crough. Patrick itself and hundreds and thousands of years of wind and rains, have washed it clean unable to sustain anything but the toughest of wild grasses, but to those of us who regard Ireland as our ancestors’ homeland as sacred no other spot in all of Ireland can represent what it means to be “Irish”
And so, the beauty of me Irish friends tongue and what it means to be Irish.
So, tell me now, what it is to be from the bloodline within you?
If you’re of German blood, does a German father ingrain that in his children like an Irish father does? That Irish way of thinking; that Irish way of acting; that Irish way of beliefs;
that I AM _______ within you?
Those of you of Polish, Spanish, Native American Indian, Greek, French, Dutch, Finnish, Swedish, Italian, Norwegian, Portuguese, Russian, Arab or Serbo-Croatian blood…tell me…how strong a part did your bloodline play in your life? Or did religion play a stronger role?
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