Pics of St. Patrick’s Day: How the Irish Saved Civility*
Mrs. Ancient Dan had always wanted to visit Ireland, mainly
because her dad had related accounts of his Irish ancestry. I was raised with a
Protestant British distaste for the Irish, but with a suppressed knowledge of
some Irish blood (revealed by the scattered red hairs visible when I allow my
beard to grow). But I, too, wanted to see the place. So, we planned a trip for
May of 2016.
Totally unexpected and traumatic things happened 9 days before the planned journey—events that completely disrupted our life and, perhaps worse, seemingly confirmed my cynicism about humanity. Our world was shattered. Nevertheless we decided to go to Ireland anyway, now more for escape from reality than anything else . . . and with dour hearts.
What we found there was a people of considerable politeness, kindness, and civility; just what we needed for encouragement. Mrs. A.D. and I had debated over what the “prototypical” Irish person would be (I argued for a red-headed girl). We were both right . . . and both wrong. I now think of the Irish in terms of temperament rather than outward appearance. And I thank them for challenging me to examine the way I treat others.
Oh, and Ireland itself is pretty nice too. We also “argued” over the “prototypical” Irish scene. We were both right, again. I’ll let pictures tell the story for the rest of this post.
Ireland is a great place to see things and think about life. So, I left there glad to have visited in troubling times and resolved to be conscious of how I treat people and react to circumstances.
BTW, we did DNA tests for Christmas and it turns out . . . I am more Irish than Mrs A.D., much to her chagrin (and my surprise)! Perhaps that is why , for the first time ever, I wore green for St. Patrick’s Day today.