I believe in Saint Patrick

Daniel - Columbus, Ohio
Entered on February 22, 2008
Age Group: 50 - 65

This I believe. I believe we are mistaken in casting ourselves as the “thinking creature” (HSS). What truly distinguishes us as a life form is the fact that we constantly tell ourselves stories and, indeed, could not exist without stories. We tell ourselves storie about success, progress, being a man or woman, stories about the past, etc. We do so not simply for entertainment, but in order to know the world. The quality of the stories determine the quality of our lives, and perhaps our times.

Saint Patrick’s Day is approaching and what I celebrate are the stories I heard as a child from my grandparents, particularly my grandfather. Thirty years ago I visited Ireland as a young man and wrote my own story of sorts — a story in a poem:

When I was just a child

And the world Was as yet so much unseen

I would often climb upon my grandfather’s lap

And listen, as he talked of ghosts and leprochauns back home in Ballysteen

Now lad, he would say

close your eyes and fill your sails with the winds of the day gone by

And as you pass to the shores of a night before

so your dreams may lead you

to where home for me was once before

Through the humbling forests and the hills

so fair and green

O’er the shores of Shannon

where some have last been seen

Here your dreams may lead you

to what your heart may someday find

The greatest of God’s wonders

the joys of being kind

And so it was that I listened

And caught each puff of smoke

I passed to sleep quite peacefully

the darkness filled with hope

And as I stand amidst these fields this day

from dreams to present sight

the wind blows strong the magic

that once filled my grandfather’s pipe