St. Patrick's Day

{Posted   16 March 2013}

  St. Patrick's Day is special to me ~ as it is to all Irish and descendants of the Irish who live either in the Irish Diaspora, or in the homeland herself.

  I can trace certain ancestral lines back to Ireland, directly and indirectly. I say 'indirectly' because I descend from both, Fergus and Angus, two of the sons of Erc who took the Celtic Dal Riada culture (descended from the Milesians) from Eire to Pictland. My lineage descends from Erc to Cinaed mac Ailpin (i.e. Kenneth MacAlpin), and from there to the Mackintosh and Shaw clans. From Scotland, my Shaw ancestors migrated back to Ireland, where they intermarried with the Townsons and Hydes. At the same time, my Muirhead ancestors were being relocated from their ancestral home in Scotland to the Ulster Plantation in northern Ireland. From Ireland, my Shaw and Muirhead ancestors emigrated to America, and their descendants became part of the Irish Diaspora.

  Sure, I've got Swiss and German blood in me also, because the Germans and Ulster Scots intermarried quite heavily in the South-Central Pennsylvania region in which I was born, but the Irish part of me always bubbles and boils with pride when St. Patrick's Day comes around.

  And so, on this St. Patrick's Day, I would like to extend to all my family and friends the following blessings and toasts:

  May you live as long as you want, and never want as long as you live.

  May you be half-an-hour in Heaven before the Devil knows you're dead.

  May the road rise to meet you. May the wind always be at your back. May the sun shine warm upon your face. May the rain fall soft upon your fields. And until we meet again, May God hold you securely in the hollow of His hand.