Thursday, March 17, 2011

on shamrocks and the color green...

funny, isn't it, how on st. paddy's day we all feel a bit luckier wearing a bit of the green? there's not an irish bone in my body, but i feel it too - a touch of luck for me courtesy of the tiny green crystals that accompany the silver shamrock accessorizing my otherwise blah all black outfit today. i wear the necklace in honor of my gram - elizabeth shirley mccauley milanich. does a name get any more irish than that? well, except for the milanich part, which is serbian and courtesy of my gramps.

my gram was as irish as the day is long. red hair with a gorgeous natural curl, deep blue eyes, and a smattering of freckles that made her only that much more lovely. beautiful, really. because of my gram, i can't get through a rendition of "danny boy" or "when irish eyes are smiling" without a good cry. for my gram was that - a true irish rose with eyes that smiled like no other.

i've a few facts to share today on the wearing of the green...legend has it that the custom was born with the color of the shamrock. st. patrick himself was said to have used the leaves of the shamrock to teach about the trinity - the stem representing one divine nature and the green leaves are the three persons which comprise that nature; father, son and holy spirit. i like that idea, what it symbolizes.

another explanation for the wearing of green on st. paddy's day dates back to the 18th century. the irish were said to have worn green in an attempt to remain invisible to leprechauns. i guess the story goes that the little guys were color blind when it came to green. leprechauns had the stinky little reputation for pinching people, did you know that? me either. but if you wear green, they can't see you, therefore they can't pinch you:)

on the flip side, some folks say that the green is actually thought to be the leprechauns favorite color, therefore considered to be an unlucky color in ireland. an irish bride would never be caught wearing a stitch of green on her wedding day!

so there you have it. i guess either way - whether you're wearing green or not - beware of the pinch of the leprechaun. ha! with that, on this gorgeous st. paddy's day in chicagoland (where temps are expected to be in the mid 60's), i leave you with, what else?, an irish blessing...

may your blessings outnumber
the shamrocks that grow
and may trouble avoid you
wherever you go

wishing you the luck of the irish,

p.s. corned beef, cabbage and a hearty loaf of rye are what's for dinner tonight.
i can't wait!

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