St. Patrick's Day is a very important feast around my house. It's not a day to drink and be stupid, like most Americans imagine, but rather a day to remember the incredible gifts we have been given, in heritage, language, art and family. All of our married life, my husband (Mark Gallagher), has made a habit of taking St. Patrick's Day off from work, and I have tried to do likewise. Not so that we can party, but so that we can listen. To one another, to music and to the sound of those who have gone before reminding us to take care.
This photo was taken in KellyBegs, in County Donegal adjacent to the Gallagher fishing fleet. When we have visited there we will sit and listen to the water and the birds, the fishermen and the people milling around a small port town. There is much to learn from their commitment to the water and land, people and family. Life can be harsh and money often short but there is always a greeting, always a story. And there is a solemn but joyful commitment to life which dances on the wind.
May we, this St. Patrick's Day 2008, not try to worry about dying everything green, but remember to listen to the life around us. May we rejoice in the gifts and challenges we have been given. May we find in the stark reality of our lives, warmth and story in abundance. And may we remember to listen for the new life which dances on the wind.