March 17, 2015, Prescott- The wearing of the green, on this day four years ago, found me putting on a day-appropriate t-shirt and taking a grinning selfie, with which I’ll not trouble you. My face looked contorted, in more of a grimace than a smile. I had at least three chins, to boot. Penny had passed on just twelve days earlier,so as one might guess, the whole thing was to somehow trick myself into thinking that standing alone, in our now-empty Phoenix house, would break the din of sorrow. Our son had the good sense to be off with friends that evening, and I’ve never been one to cling to anyone in despair.
Each year since, St. Patrick’s Day has come and gone. I’ve been in Prescott for each of the past three, and generally have opted for either a home-cooked corned beef and cabbage or, as last year, go off with friends to one of the few spots that doesn’t operate on alcohol sales and cover charges. It’s been a while since I was a twenty-something, so the cover charge is a relic, to me.
Tonight, the occasion was quietly observed at Prescott Junction, which used to be a JB’s, and is now a more imaginative Mom & Pop, albeit with the same owners. It was, I must say, one of the more ample, and well-spiced, plates of corned beef I’ve had, since leaving my parents’ house, in 1973. Mom always observed the special days in traditional style, and hers was succulent corned beef.
The meal aside, I get inspiration from the Tall Tale of St. Patrick having smitten the snakes of Ireland. Here in Arizona, he’d be doing a land office business. Triumphing over adversity is a step-by-step affair, and when one considers that those we view as evil, often see themselves as on a noble quest, the snake analogy is apropos. Serpents, after all, control the rodent populace. I have a very hard time, though, seeing the likes of Islamic State and Boko Haram as anything decent or good. Relegating strong, intelligent women to the pantry, or the bedroom, is a death blow to any society that is going to advance. Restricting our God-given free will freezes the souls of those who are enslaved by ideology. We are SUPPOSED TO make choices for ourselves. Otherwise, no one learns, or advances spiritually.
So, in a few days, my Baha’i Fast will end, winter will gradually give way to Spring, and I will adhere to a normal schedule of activity. In a few more years, 2021 to be specific, the Baha’i Fast will find me focusing on its spiritual dimension, while not adhering to its physical aspect-as by then, I’ll be 70. Life, in each of its stages, brings new challenges and blessings. Erin go bragh!