1. It is a reminder of my connection to the Emerald Isle. I've always suspected I was part Irish, but this year I had it confirmed with the DNA test my husband got me as a Christmas gift. This year I felt validated for always celebrating on March 17th.
I bought this tea cup set this summer at a flea market. This was before my Irish ancestry had been confirmed. I've always been drawn to the shamrock. My advice to anyone: if you're drawn to some symbol over and over again and you don't know why, there's always a reason.
2. I grew up going to St. Patrick's church in my hometown. It's where I was baptized, made my first communion, was confirmed, and was married. Now, living in a different city than where I grew up, I go to St. Patrick's church again. My husband decided to join this church a few years ago. I'm so glad he did. I love the circle it creates.
3. My husband always takes our kids to march in the St. Patrick's Day Parade here in our city. Although the parade is not always on the actual date of St. Patrick's Day, it's held on the closest weekend before the actual holiday.
4. It's a reason to have a "special dinner" with my family. Around here, we eat together every night. Every once in a blue moon, we have an exception to this, but it's mostly the law. But I like having a special theme once in a while. In the past we've done corned beef and cabbage and Guiness Beef Stew with Irish soda bread. This year it was shepherd's pie with ginger beer and Irish cream cheesecake. Thanks, Aldi! I didn't have to cook at all.
5. For me, St. Patrick's Day is the unofficial beginning of spring. Don't get me wrong. I like winter. I really do. I love December and the build up and celebration of Christmas. I enjoy the cold and snow of January. Then there's the short month of February and Valentine's Day. But then I'm ready for something new. What better way to prepare for spring than to bring out all the green? I always buy a shamrock plant. Seeing this little green plant makes me so happy. (It also makes my cats happy as I discovered they like to eat it.) Having this little plant inside is like I'm doing prep work for the actual season. It's coming. That's very welcome after the rough winter we've had.
6. The Rainbow
Appearing almost as much as the shamrock around St. Paddy's Day is the symbol of the rainbow. I know I sound like a ten year old girl, but I have a thing for rainbows. (Incidentally I also have a thing for butterflies and unicorns, so maybe I am a ten year old girl.) At a particularly low time in my life, I saw one. And then again, at a particularly pivotal time in my life, a child gave me a drawing of one and said something profound (He didn't know it was profound, nor would you if I told you what he said, but I found it profound in the circumstances.) Oh, and I had a rainbow appear on my wedding day. It's worth mentioning that there was no rain that day. Oh, nothing.
Someone once asked me if the rainbow was photo shopped in this picture. Nope. It rained off in the distance and appeared after the short shower.
So welcome Spring! St. Patrick's Day tells me you're around the corner. You're not always punctual, but it's good to know you're inevitably arriving and will be staying for a while.