Today is St. Patrick’s Day and in Kansas City, where I live, it’s a big event. There’s a parade that attracts people from all over the city and suburbs as everything is drenched in a sea of green and orange. Philippe and I don’t like crowds, so we don’t attend the festivities, but it’s sure fun driving past to see throngs of people walking down the street in their St. Patrick’s Day costumes. From tall green top hats to green polka dot leggings to feathered green boas, everyone decided to be Irish for the day. I doubt this parrot is Irish, but here, as long as you’re wearing the colors, then it seems to count today. For my part, I actually am half Irish and bits of other things my family doesn’t seem to remember because we’re deplorable when it comes to genealogy. Many years ago, I participated in the parties, which primarily consisted of getting horribly drunk on green beer. In some ways, I guess, I actually have grown up and I’m probably the better off for it. But, seeing all of those smiling people as we passed today, was fun and made me giggle. One woman was wearing so much green bling that she had to walk a bit hunched over to compensate. Or, maybe, she was simply already drunk. It’s wildly difficult to tell.
I realized when we went out shopping for groceries this morning that I’d failed to wear anything green. Somewhere in my closet are a handful of t-shirts that I purchased specifically for this day, but then each year I forget to put them on. One, I’m certain has the oft repeated phrase, “Kiss Me, I’m Irish,” which relates to the Irish legend of the Blarney Stone. Legend has it that Queen Elizabeth I wanted the land rights from Cormac Teige McCarthy, and he wanted to convince the Queen to change her mind. While traveling to meet with the Queen he met a mysterious old woman who suggested he kiss a specific stone at Blarney Castle, outside Cork, and would receive the gift of eloquent speech. He did so, was able to persuade the Queen, and the stone has become a famous tourist destination. For anyone unable to visit Blarney Castle, legend also has it that kissing an Irish person for luck is the next best thing. I’m rather sure when I wore the that t-shirt last I wasn’t inundated with kisses, as that would be rather hard to forget, so perhaps that why I end up not bothering with it at all. And since, I’m not exactly sure what percentage of Irish luck I actually have in my DNA, it’s a rather direct bit of messaging that could border on false advertising.
But, I’m happy to share whatever luck I do have with others. I think I have been rather lucky in life and for that I’m very grateful. I’d love to say all of my successes were due to hard work, but luck played a bigger role than I’d like to admit. I do work intensely at whatever I’m currently doing, but I also get so distracted in the process that it lacks all the focus a hard worker would employ. So, I’m pretty sure that my Irish luck must certainly come in to make up the difference in the end. Tonight, instead of green beer, Philippe and I are having a glass of champagne with some green pesto gouda cheese and crackers. It’s so weirdly civilized, but it’s our own little way to celebrate. Actually, we just happened to have some champagne in the refrigerator waiting for a special occasion and today was the perfect excuse. And though I may not know the exact stories of my own Irish heritage, I’m still happy to raise a glass and toast them this evening. No matter what happens in the world I think we’re all rather lucky. We just have to stay positive so that luck has its fuel to occur. Even on the days when we feel our luck has run out, it’s still there, waiting for us to notice it. Though if you’re ever in doubt, you can always plant a smooch on that silly guy wearing a t-shirt that says, “Kiss Me, I’m Irish!”
About the Doodlewash
Da Vinci Paint Co.: Aureolin, Benzimida Orange, Leaf Green, Cobalt Turquoise, Terra Cotta, and Cobalt Blue. Lamy Al-Star Safari Fountain Pen with black ink in an A5 Hahnemühle Watercolour Book. Want to purchase a print of this doodlewash? Send me a note with a link to this post, and I’ll add it to my shop!
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Creator of Doodlewash®, founder of World Watercolor Month (July), World Watercolor Group™, and host of the Sketching Stuff Podcast. Sharing daily watercolor illustrations and stories while proudly featuring talented artists from all over the world! If you’d like to be a guest artist on Doodlewash.com, contact me!