Erin Go Bragh!
Long before everyone wore green to celebrate the day, Mom would pin a ittle velour shamrock on my school uniform (which was, conveniently, a green plaid). I was the only one of my friends who wore such a thing. (And this in a school of Bryants and Welches.)
But it got the point across: We were Irish — we were passionate people, impractical people, people with heart. We loved a good tune, though not so much a good pint. We loved the green hills and fields of Ireland; we liked to think we embodied its soul.
Later on, I would learn that had we some of the less attractive traits of the island nation: a certain clannishness and suspicion. We would live through a punishing family feud.
But still, on St. Patrick's Day, and especially on this one — the first without Mom — I raise my glass to the spirit of the place we came from. Erin go Bragh!