Sunday, February 7, 2010

How strong is your bloodline within you?

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?

38 comments:

Blodeuedd said...

What an interesting topic Hawk, you always know how to catch my attention.

My blood, my roots, well it is hard to say, we have lived here for 500 years (y dads family). But where did we all come from? I am Finnish, but I am not of Finnish blood, dunno if I have any in me. We are Swedish, German and Dutch, but that was long ago. Now we are just a tiny lost people

Ellen B said...

This is an interesting post, Hawk :)

Irish people can be quite sardonic about Irish Americans who identify as Irish but have never been here. But I don't think that's fair, because I agree with you that culture can be transmitted in so many ways. The writer Natalie Goldberg grew up in a non-observant Jewish household and later converted to Buddhism, but her Jewish heritage still affects her writing in a very deep and profound way.

I'm Irish, born and raised here, so I don't think very much about being of Irish blood. I just am. But when I actually stop and think about it, there are so many things about Ireland and being Irish that I love, that are an integral part of me, that I realise I could never have been anything else and still be me.

I hope you make it over here someday. The rain is waiting for you :p

Houston A.W. Knight said...

Blodeuedd,

Now you're comment has me thinking...by saying "We are just a tiny lost people" does that mean you feel more tied to your roots within the land you live than you do to your blood roots?

Very interesting indeed!

Tell me why?

Big Cyber hugs
Hawk

Houston A.W. Knight said...

Ellen B,

Oh...I do hope to make it home one day...my heart longs for it and has for many years...

My father being 100 percent Irish never let any of his children forget where out "home" ties where...he moved us around the world about every 3 to 5 years so...he made sure we know home was Ireland...whether we ever see home or not.

Interesting, a lot of countries see those not born in their home country as not being blood, I saw that when I lived in Japan...but for the one of the blood -it's like being lost and wanting home and you can't find it...it's a longing.

Sometimes I think it makes for an even stronger loyalty to the home country because we're the ones out here having to defend our blood and our people to the others.

Very interesting comment Ellen! It's so nice to meet someone from my homeland! Do come back

Hugs
Hawk

Patti said...

What a beautiful post! My great grandmother came over from Ireland (I never knew her), and while my heritage is too much of a mix to have any specialness, it's always been my dream to go to Ireland. Hubs and I plan a trip there once we get rid of the kids and mortgage (he won't fly and I won't sail so the trip there and back should be interesting).

Houston A.W. Knight said...

Patti!

Thanks for stopping by! (((HUGS)))

LOL, so tell me now...how do ya' plan on making it there? One by air and one by ship? Guess it doesn't matter how ya get there, as long as ya get there,
huh?

I'd love to go home....and I hope I will one day. My father visited family still there at least once a year ... and most of my cousins have been back and forth often.

So tell me this Patti when asked what ya' are...what do you say? Do you claim your Irish side or another part of the bloodline?

Me father would say if ya' claim the Irish side...then you're an Irish girl at heart, and if you're longing to visit your homeland, then you're and Irish girl at heart so claim it with pride!

;-)
Hugs
Hawk

Ellen B said...

Hawk, what part of Ireland was your father from?

And yes, I think being brought up far from where you consider home definitely makes your sense of home stronger. My father lived abroad for years and never felt so Irish as when he was away from home.

Houston A.W. Knight said...

Ellen,

BTW...I've always loved the rain! :-)

Related to King James I'm told...

my grandfather was born in Fihora - county Longford of the McGowan and O'Reilly clans...
I'm not sure ... but I think me father was from Arver (not sure the spelling)!
Do you know where that is?

Hugs
Hawk

M.V.Freeman said...

Hawk,
Interesting...I think that it is wonderful that you received a bit of soil.

My background is Irish/English/Dutch (where I get what I call my creative stubborness).

And Ellen, I love the rain...LOL is that a requirement for visiting Ireland? ;-P

As for what was a larger role Bloodline or Religion. I can say neither. Although (and here some may argue) I have a deep abiding faith, for I am Christian-but I am not "religious". And Bloodline--I have to admit I find myself studying cultures that I have no genetic tie to..like Slavic, or Hispanic.

I'll ponder this awhile more, but it was a fascinating post!
Salute,
M.V.

Patti said...

Hawk - LOL, the plan is I'll fly ahead and get everything ready for when his ship lands :)

I did give my sons Scottish names and my daughters Irish names so I guess that says something, hmmm?

Blodeuedd said...

Hi Hawk,
Well yes my soul is Finnish, even if my blood is not. I share traditions with others that the Finns do not, but that is all I feel. The sad thing is that Finns still think we all love Sweden, and that we are rich. And that was not the only country we came from. So in the end I am a mix of traditions

Houston A.W. Knight said...

M.V.,

Hey darlin'! (((hugs)))

The "English" refer to Ireland as England's umbrella...yes, it rains a lot in Ireland...hence the good soil...the reason England came to Ireland and took over...to get the best farming lands...to feed "their" hungry.

So when people ask what you are...what do you reply? American?

See...I just can't say that...when I'm asked what I am I say Irish. I live in America. America is my second home and I will defend America in honor of her giving my family shelter when we had to leave our country...

My father fought and defeanded America in her wars (Korea and WW2)and came back with a purple heart and honorable discharge when they were done with him...but, when he went in he told the navy he would not fight side by side with an Englishmen (WW2) so if they wanted him to fight for them (America) they would have to send him to fight the Japanese...which they did.

My father spent his life in exile but there was never a day in his life that he didn't remember his blood and his true home, IRELAND.

He never let his children forget it either and the reason we didn't live in our own country.

Modern religion never worked for me...so I reached for my roots when it comes to belief systems...I've studies all the religions in the world and I follow the Native America Indian's belief system (very close to nature)...it works for me.

Hawk

Houston A.W. Knight said...

Patti,

Oh, I love Scottish names....ah, scotts are cousins to the Irish anyway...so you're Irish!
;-)
LOL

Ah, just like a hubby...we always have to get things set up for them before they get there! LOL
Well, you're sure to have some fun while doing it!

I hope you enjoy Ireland! It'll steal you're heart ya' know.

Hugs
Hawk

M.V.Freeman said...

Hawk,
What you write has a great ring of truth for me. :-)

I like that question...who am I? Where does my soul call home? I also love the fact you ask the questions that make me think, and ruminate.

Can I answer that question? That was what I was toying with in my last post. I am still debating.

Yes, Yes, I know, not much of an answer, you know me, I save some of those deep answers when I have a chance to sit with a cup of hot tea and talk about things.....

((Hugs)) to you Hawk...I adore these challanges to my thinking. Granted I keep the true answers to myself.

M.V. --the problem child. :-D

Houston A.W. Knight said...

Blodeuedd,

You said your soul is Finnish...and this is what matters...where the soul lies is where the spirit is.

As I've told many American's...I am Irish, born and raise and will die Irish...But, that being said, does not mean I am ungrateful to America...American took my family in when we had no choice but to leave Ireland to stay alive...The English were out to get rid of every McGowan/O'Reilly they could find with our bloodline (in line for the crown) my Great grandfather, grandfather and father were in this line...and so it goes...I am Irish and tho' I live in America I will die an Irishmen....it's where my spirit lives.

Nothing wrong with having PRIDE in who you are....it's the one thing NO ONE can take from you. They may take your land, your home, your country, your religion, your name, your language...but they can NEVER take your spirit from you.

hugs
Hawk

Houston A.W. Knight said...

M.V.,

darlin' you know I understand the cup of tea and the private thoughts...and you know when I ask a question I enjoy what you share and I comment on that, but as you've said...my questions are "food for thought" all aspect of the question don't have to be answered here unless you want to share it...from one secretive personality to another....I fully understand...it's just our nature. LOL

I adore you darlin! But you know that!

xoxox
Hawk

Marissa said...

Hi Hawk!

Interesting post...

I am Dutch all the way, father, mother, grandparents and great grand parents... But my father used to be away 10 months out of the year for his work and we travelled a lot to visit him, so when I was younger we travelled all over the world, I learnt a lot from other cultures and traditions.

But my roots are very Dutch, we still have lots of traditions we honor and whenever I am away I have to have my Dutch hagelslag with me LOL... But I don't need to be in Holland to feel Dutch, I take my roots with me wherever I go because it is part of who I am.

Hope you are well!

Vicki said...

My roots are Irish on my mother's side and French on my father's side.

I'd like to be able to say that my mom brought us up with all of the Irish ways or that my dah did with the ways of the French, but the truth is neither did. My dah was gone when I was a very young child and my mom...well, she just didn't.

But what I can say, is the pull of Ireland is extremely strong in me. Anything to do with the place stops me in my tracks and my heart beats a little faster. 'Tis the home of my soul and the peace of my heart.

I long for the day to visit. Perhaps that day will come and perhaps it will not in this lifetime, but surely it will come at sometime and place.

What a beautiful post and the gift is so touching it brought tears to my eyes.

Christine said...

I was born in The Netherlands and I feel tied to it by my relationships, but the country itself is not in my soul. I realized that many years ago. I grew up in Canada. I feel most disconnected from it as the place where I grew up was horrible and dark and cold all the time. Vancouver was lovely and I have dear friends there, but it's not in my blood. Then I came to the USA and I LOVE this country. I chose it. I became a citizen because I wanted to be one. Not because I was born into it by chance or forced into it by my parents as a child, but because I CHOSE it.

The USA gave me my strongest roots, my greatest challenges and my best opportunities.

My soul is here--I am an American. Patriotic, fierce and Proud!

(but I do love French food and wine)

Dottie (My Blog 2.0-Tink's Place) said...

Hi Hawk!

What are bloodlines, who's to say what draws the heart?

Biologically, I'm English/German (Mom's grandparents were straight off the boat) and Dutch/Scotch/Irish (Dad always told us that we were mutts, LOL). My kids are even more diverse, with the introduction of American Indian, Cherokee I believe (my hubs' great-grandmother was full blood, which makes my kids 1/16th and they're proud of it).

But do I feel a certain allegiance to one place or other, I have to say, no. I've never been anywhere but here, though I have dreams of Ireland and Australia. Ireland because I yearn to see it, Australia because it sounds and looks strange, different, exotic.

So, I guess I don't feel bound by blood, maybe because I am a mutt, lol, the best of all things. I only claim to be 100% American, part of that great 'stirring cauldron', proud of what our country has been and what I hope it will be. There are certainly things I'd change if I could, I'm not so proud of some things, but it's a mere blimp on the horizon of history.

I do feel a little of my roots sometimes, storytelling has always been part of my life as reading other's stories has been as well. I wouldn't know what to do without it.

I loved your tale of receiving the soil of Ireland and how it spoke to you. Maybe one day, you'll get to see where that soil came from live in person. If you're going to dream, dream big!! I always do.

((hugs))

Dottie :)

Ellen B said...

Hawk, I don't know that part of Ireland at all I'm afraid, I know the east and the south better and Longford is smack in the middle.

Arver doesn't sound familiar to me either but Ireland has such a small and scattered population that there's loads of placenames :) Plus it could be a translation from Irish so the spelling may be prone to changing - that happens *a lot*

Houston A.W. Knight said...

Marissa,

Maybe that's it...you came from a family like mine...we moved every 3 to 5 years...

so you really had no roots anywhere except where your bloodline came from....

by being away from your homeland you kind of feel like an ambassador for your people, your land and your roots....

I was sad to hear from Ellen B that a born and raised Irishmen would turn his back on one of his own...because he spent time out of Ireland.

The Irish have always been travelers...the rolling stone...so I was surprised to hear those who have never left home would shun a blood of his own...ah, but it seems the way of the world these days.

In all the many many visit me father returned home never has or would anyone of our relative(those who didn't have to leave)would have ever insulted me father with a remark about his not being Irish...he was a man of his homeland and would give his life for Ireland. I believe he cared more about Ireland than some of those who have lived there all their lives. Maybe it's because His home (Ireland) was take
away from him...he never left it...it was taken away by the English.

I agree we take our roots with us.

Hugs
Hawk

Houston A.W. Knight said...

Vicki,

I didn't know you had Irish in you. I would have guessed French because you look French.

Sad to hear you're mother didn't pass even a wee bit on...perhaps that's something that comes from an Irish father.

Am glad you enjoyed the post.

Hawk

Houston A.W. Knight said...

Christine,

Hey Sweetie! The story you shared is wonderful....we all should be proud of who and what we are...born to it or chosen! xoxoxo

Hawk

Houston A.W. Knight said...

Dottie!

I think for those who have been lucky enough to have been born and raise in one land their whole life - that is where they would feel most connected to.

For those of us who have never had roots...we're left only with roots of our blood... our heritage and if you've got an Irish father... chances are he will raise you to know you're Irish. LOL

hugs
Hawk

Houston A.W. Knight said...

Ellen,

Yes, my relatives that still live and have always lived in Ireland tell me Arver is right on the boarder of the North and South in the middle of the country.

I do hope to make it home one day...and if I do...I hope never to leave it.

Hawk

Ellen B said...

Hawk, it generally isn't even as strong as rejecting someone or shunning them - there is just a bit of an attitude that you have to prove your credentials a bit. It's very hard to explain. . . Basically, if it's a few generations back (further than grandparents or great-grandparents, say) you might get asked 'And you still consider yourself Irish, after all that time?' I think anyone would be satisfied if the answer to that was 'yes' though (I still don't think it's very fair).

And it never applies to someone you know personally. Prejudices never do, do they? *rolls eyes* As prejudices go, though, I doubt it's one that would cause you much trouble if you came here.

~Sia McKye~ said...

What a lovely gift, Hawk. Oh yes, I understand it well.

I'm Celtic, both Scot and Irish and the blood and mystic tales run deep in my soul. I come from a family of story tellers. Tales of old times with much embellishment--especially if a wee drop is added in the mix. But that too is Celtic.

I haven't been back to Scotland or Ireland since I was a kid. My brother Roland and I were going to make a trip this summer, but he passed away before we could, which is sad. It is a place I want to take my son and I'm hoping to do that next year.

Houston A.W. Knight said...

Ellen,

Hey Sweetie...Ah, it is good to hear. So, it's not a strong rejection...it's just more like a wondering of one's loyalities to be Irish still stand....and where they might really be after a long period of time away from home.

Well, believe me, this I understand...some people do forget or are not raised to remember where they came from...they will consider themselves from the land they live in. And that might have been true for me if I had lived anywhere for a long period of time AND did not have a father who was 100% Irish to his dying day.

I'd think for those who were born in America (I wasn't) and raised in America and had never left America, and had parents that did not remind them of their blood, their homeland, then yes I would expect them to be American Irish with little attachement to Ireland.

But, I have found most Irish fathers who have their families out of the homeland make sure to remind their children of where they come from and who they are and where their hearts belong.

I realize my father had a very strong reason for doing this...and because he did not leave Ireland by free will it was important to him to instill in his children WHO THEY WERE. Because of our family history he would not let us forget WHO WE WERE and why our souls loyalty had to be with Ireland...mind you, my father was not ungrateful to America for giving us a home from time to time...he paid back and fought for America in two of her wars and his sons fought for her as well...but, he never let us forget Ireland is the home of our souls.

He raise us to know we were born Irish, we will live Irish and we will die Irish just as he did.

<<< I think anyone would be satisfied if the answer to that was 'yes' though (I still don't think it's very fair).>>>

LOL Ellen...you're such a sweetie. I've discovered there isn't much in life that is fair...I hear you and what you're saying tho' - but I do understand why they would question it.

Some people do forget or are allowed to forget...and if they never leave the land they're living in...they would develop some kind of loyalty to it.

My loyalty to America comes from her offering her home to my family and treating us right while we've lived here.

My father raised us with honor so I would defend America with my life if attacked, but I'll be honest...if it were Ireland doing the attacking...I'd have a problem...I'd have to choose a side and be true to my soul.

<<<>>

LOL...well....I'm going to join you in rolling me eyes!


Hugs
Hawk

Houston A.W. Knight said...

Ellen,

The rolling eyes statement was in reference to your statemenet about
<<<And it never applies to someone you know personally. Prejudices never do, do they? *rolls eyes* As prejudices go,<<<

For some reason the copy didn't paste in the reprint of the comment.

xoxo
Hawk

Houston A.W. Knight said...

Sia, hey darlin'

Oh...the soil...I'll cherish it forever!

I keep trying to answer the call of my homeland but now me heart can rest easy if I don't...when am six feet under I'll be holding this soil and there will be a smile on my face!

Your borthers have very Irish/Scot names...tell me about your name? I want to know the history of the name Sia.

Hugs
Hawk

Kelly Moran said...

if you couldn't tell by my name...i'm as irish as they come. lol.

been awhile. how are you?

hey, i got ny times bestseller, larissa ione, on my blog now!

xoxo

Kelly Moran said...

oh, i'm part serbian too. :)

Houston A.W. Knight said...

Kelly...LOL, yes I can tell you're an Irish girl...you even look Irish so there are no doubts! LOL

Huh? serbian...???? How did that sneak in on an Irish lass? LOL

Do tell us this story...it's got to be good! I'm all ears!

I'm doing fine babe...and you?

Cyber hugs
Hawk

Kelly Moran said...

lol. my father's family is serbian. mother's is irish.a teeny bit italian too.

ps, you commented on the wrong post on my blog. i don't know why, but as of last week the comments are on the top of the post, not the bottom. i can't figure out how to change it back. grr.

xo

Susan Lohrer said...

Hawk, you know how to pull on a person's heartstrings. Great post.

I'm kind of a mutt, I guess, with ancestors from most of northern Europe/Scandinavia. About the only ties I have to my heritage are a fondness for knots of sweet dough fried in lard and sprinkled with cardamom, and sipping my morning coffee in bed.

Houston A.W. Knight said...

Kelly,

LOL...just like me to comment on the wrong post! I'll try to get back there asap.
Isn't the computer world wonderful! Errrrrr is right!
LOL

Interesting story...so how did your mom and dad meet?

Hugs
Hawk

Houston A.W. Knight said...

Susan!

OMG - what a heritage to have - knots of sweet dough fried in lard and sprinkled with cardamom, and coffee in bed....
Can I be part of your blood? LOL

I'm so glad you liked me post...if you think I can pull at your heart strings...wait till you read one of my stories! ;-)

Hugs -
Hawk