Every culture and country has its own diverse wedding traditions and blessings. Some of these traditions are still used while older ones like love spells and how to predict your future husband are part of folklore memory or children’s games.
Irish Wedding Blessings.
May your mornings bring joy and your evenings bring peace.
May your troubles grow few as your blessings increase.
May the saddest day of your future
Be no worse than the happiest day of your past.
May your hands be forever clasped in friendship
And your hearts joined forever in love.
Your lives are very special,
God has touched you in many ways.
May his blessings rest upon you
And fill all your coming days.
May you both be blessed
with the strength of heaven,
The light of the sun and the
radiance of the moon
The splendor of fire,
The speed of lightning,
The swiftness of wind,
The depth of the sea,
The stability of earth,
And the firmness of rock.
May God be with you and bless you.
May you see your children’s children.
May you be poor in misfortune, rich in blessings.
May you know nothing but happiness.
From this day forward.
Health and life to you
The woman of your choice for you
A child every year for you
And may you die in Ireland.
May you enjoy the four greatest blessings:
Honest work to occupy you.
A hearty appetite to sustain you.
A good woman to love you.
And a wink from the God above.
May you both be blessed
With the strength if heaven,
The light of the sun and the
Radiance of the moon,
The splendor of fire,
The speed fo lightning,
The depth of the sea,
The swiftness if wind,
The stability fo earth,
And the firmness of rock.
I wish healing upon you
The healing of Mary with me,
Mary, Michael and Brighid
Be with me all three.
Fly with the birds of the air
Fly with the wasps of the hill
Swim with the sea-going whale
For they are swiftest
Be upon the clouds of the sky
For they are the rainiest
Be upon the river’s current
Cascading to the sea
May love and laughter light your days,
and warm your heart and home.
May good and faithful friends be yours,
wherever you may roam.
May peace and plenty bless your world
with joy that long endures.
May all life’s passing seasons
bring the best to you and your
May the road rise to meet you,
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
The rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of his hand.May God be with you and bless you;
May you see your children’s children.
May you be poor in misfortune,
Rich in blessings,
May you know nothing but happiness
From this day forward.
May the road rise to meet you
May the wind be always at your back
May the warm rays of sun fall upon your home
And may the hand of a friend always be near.
May green be the grass you walk on,
May blue be the skies above you,
May pure be the joys that surround you,
May true be the hearts that love you.
Irreverent and funny Irish sayings and Wedding Toast Blessings
- There is no scourge like Marriage and no feast like a roast.
- A person without a spouse has no one to complain about.
- There is no cure for love but marriage.
- The farther from view, the closer to the heart.
- It is best to find the fault before the wedding, than after.
- There’s no life without music or love.
- Folíonn grá gráin.
Love veils ugliness.
- Would you like to lay down with my people?, As in , would you like to be buried in my family plot, a tongue in cheek Irish marriage proposal .
- Three kinds of men who fail to understand women: young men, old men and middle-aged men.
- If you want praise, die; if you want complaints, marry.
- May you have children and your children have children
- Go east for a horse and west for a woman. It was said that the most attractive women in Ireland were from the west and the horses from the fertile plains on the east. Personally I think this one is spot on.
- Get your wife locally, but you sell your cow far away.
The Wedding Day itself.
An Irish bride was not to see her groom from midnight as the day of the wedding was entered into. Nor were the newly wed couple to enter her mother’s house till at least a month had elapsed from the wedding day. This was sage advice to avoid difficulties at the very onset leading to a return home.
Some country weddings had a beautiful custom whereby the groom presented his bride with some newly churned butter beside a mill or a tree, or river. All symbols of endurance. The following prayer was recited as he passed the token.
Oh Woman, loved by me, may thou
Give me they heart, they soul and body.
A bride was considered to have certain powers over the Sea and protection from fairies on her wedding day. A boat coming from one of the Irish Islands, would if caught in a storm ask the Bride to take the wheel in periods of danger on the sea.
The reception was usually held in the Brides’s house, the meal was standard fare, maybe with a bit more meat than usual. All washed down with stout or Whiskey or Poitín, the last one being an Irish moonshine, noted for its potency. Neighbours would help by lending crockery and helping to cater for the wedding party.
Traditionally at the beginning of the reception, the couple would Oatmeal and Salt as it was thought that this offered protection from the evil eye and blessed their union.
Other traditions on the day included that neither the Bride or Groom must sing and that the Bride while dancing was to keep one foot on the ground at all times, lest the fairies take her away in the night time.
The Strawboys were the original wedding crashers, they disguised themselves behind Straw masks and came to the door asking for admittance to the party inside. They were usually talented musicians and entertainers who would in return play and entertain the guests for an hour or so.
It was considered a great shame to turn them away and also for them not to come, as it was the wider community marking you out. The Strawboys themselves had their own customs and rules. Their masks had to be sturdy enough to ensure that their identity was kept a secret and the man whose identity was exposed would have had to live it down for the year.
The Strawboy tradition lives on still in parts of Ireland.
The Day After
The Bride and Groom would travel on horseback to their new home, flanked by the Bride’s New neighbours. This was known as “ Hauling home”. The symbol act of the bride being transplanted in to a new life and home. While in most cases, excepting the rich, it was followed by a day of work, the parties could restart for several nights as friends sponsored and threw events.
Upon entering the house, the Mother in Law would crumple a a piece of cake over the Bride’s head. It was a blessing to invoke good relationships between them and future prosperity. Often it seems that the cake piece was not big enough as the relationship was often traditionally fractious.
A Turbulent Marriage.
Every marriage has its difficulties and challenges, some more than others.
A couple whose marriage was marred by conflict were to stand on a public hanging site and a neighbour would stand between them and recite the following prayer in order to bring calm in to their lives.
The Charm of Micheal with his shield,
Of the palm branch of Christ,
Of Brigid with her veil,
Be upon you.
Brigid was a Saint whose attributes were also merged with that of the Goddess Brigid, who was the Goddess of the home and hearth. So there is an Irish pagan blessing and Christian one merged in together.
Irish Wedding Traditions and Customs.
Midsummer’s eve still sees bonfires lit all over Ireland, a continuation of a pagan tradition marking Summer and the peak height of the growing season. It was very much a communal celebration. Farmers would drive their cattle between two bonfires to ensure they were protected from disease in the coming year.
Young men and women would jump over the fire and the highest jumper would be declared the first to get married. Newly weds jumped through the flames to be blessed with fertility and to ensure passionate love making.
Single women would go through the flames with the intention of procuring a good husband
Another tradition for engaged couples was for the man to bring a sprig of wild mint as he went to meet his beloved, he would hold it in his hand as the sap seeped out and the hold his lover’s hand for ten minutes, during which neither of them spoke. Mint was one of the 3 herbs considered sacred by the Druids in the Celtic belief system, like many of these old traditions and beliefs, a pagan root is not hard to find.
Predicting Love – Traditional divination customs of Ireland.
There were several ways that a young woman could get a glimpse of her future husband. Divination was the Tinder of its day and probably just as meaningful. It was also used to see if one would get married at all.
These practices took the form of either an invocation and ritual on its own or the use of natural herbs as well.
It was the custom for a young Irish woman who wanted to dream abut the man she would marry to gather Yarrow when it was in blossom and under the light of the first full moon of the year. All the while repeating the following verse:
Full moon shining on me
Show my true love this night to me.
Tell me the clothes that I shall wear,
Tell me how many Children I will bear.
The Yarrow was placed under her pillow and it was believed that that night she would dream about her future husband,
One of the most popular means of divination customs is one that still survives to this day happens at Halloween. The traditional Barmbrack loaf, a type of fruit loaf, would have the following objects mixed in. Each object was taken a portent of the finder’s future.
Religious Medal: Joining a Holy Order
Little stick: A violent life.
These days it is mostly just the ring that is included in shop bought Barmbracks
Halloween was a special time in the Irish and Celtic calendar, it was the period when the spiritual world and the one we live in were closest together, this made it a popular time for divination and magic, a more potent time for spells.
One such spell for love divination at Halloween was for a young woman to tie three knots in to her garter and recite the following incantation.
“ This knot, this knot, this knot I see
The thing I never saws yet,
To see my love in this array
And what he walks in every day
This night in my dreams may I see.
If my love be glad in green his love for me
Is well seen. If in grey love is far away.
If in blue forever true”
The garter was then placed under the pillow and a dream showing the future Groom would be had that night.
Pagan Irish love blessing.
The fairy host or the Sídhe in Irish were not the fairies presented on TV. They were adult size or often taller and were passionate, violent, generous and malevolent all at once. They were human in their flaws but divine in their nature and lived between this world and theirs.
Men from the fairy host had a thing for fair maidens of Ireland and Brides could be stolen away by the charms of a Fairy lord. In one tale from Ireland’s ancient Celtic past, the King of Munster’s Wife was tempted away to a Fairy party by the following verse:
O Edain, will you come with me,
To a Splendid Castle that is mine?
White are the teeth there, black the eyebrows,
And crimson as mead the lips of lovers.
O woman, if you come to my proud people,
A golden crown will circle your head.
You shall dwell by the sweet streams of my land,
And drink mead and wine in the arms of your lover.
Difficult to top that offer!
For some people the fickle idea of leaving love to chance was not an option. In every town and village there was an old woman who was proficient in concocting love potions.
Love Spells were quite often in demand but they were also greatly feared, no one wanted to feel that they had been controlled by magical forces, in rare occasions a wedding could fall apart if one party found out that a love spell had been cast in the run up to the meeting.
The best day for the casting of love spells was Friday, as it was believed to be the day that ruled romance.
Everything from frog’s legs to Goose droppings and snails were used in the laying of magical love snares.
Anthony Bluett writes in Ireland in Love of one such unusual spell.
“Another means of attracting the affection of a man was to catch a frog, put it in a box and bury it alive in a dry ditch. When the flesh of the frog withers to the bare skelton, pick the bones apart, pick a bone and insert it in to the clothing of the victim with the result that they will fall madly in love with the person who placed the bone there”.
Equally horrendous spells involved the boiling of Goose excrement and getting the intended to drink it in a potion.
One less grotesque spell was for a young man who was finding that love was a one way street. He would have to find a Raven’s feather and make it in to a writing quill, the following invocation was to be written in his own blood, taken from the ring finger of the left hand.
“ By the power of Christ brought from heaven, may you love me, woman. As the Sun follows its course, may you follow me. Like light to the eye, meat to the hunger, joy to the heart, come and stay with me, my beloved, until death do us party”
This one in only limiting the risk to blood poisoning may have been more popular than the Goose excrement love spell.
A handfasting wedding was one of the many defined forms of marriage in Gaelic Ireland, defined under Brehon Law. Ireland’s ancient legal system.
It was almost a trial marriage where people would be considered married for a year and a day and then after they could further commit or be dissolved. In parts of Ireland it was also a way of finding a mate with young people living with a prospective partner without obligation.
In parts of Ireland it survived up to the 1840s, its survival was facilitated by the Penal Laws implemented by Britain where Irish Catholics had severe restrictions on religious and civil liberties. Priests were risking their lives if they were caught, so in the absence of clergy, old pagan marriage sites and traditions survived.
In Glencolumcille, Donegal, a man and woman would place their hand through a hole on an ancient standing stone and declare themselves wed in the eyes of the community.
Other traditions had the couple clasping forearms and a not would be tied around the arms of both, symbolically bonding them together.
Handfasting has survived in terms such as “tying the knot” and in Wiccan and Pagan marriage ceremonies which today include Rings.
If you want read more on Irish wedding blessings, traditions around love and marriage. I recommend the following resources. The last two may be difficult to find.
Would you like to be buried with my people: Kerstin Mierke and Bridgette Rowland.
Forgetting Frolic, Marriage traditions in Ireland: Linda May Ballard.
Irish Marriage Customs: Maria Buckley.
Irish Customs: Padraic o’Farrell.
Portsmouth lies just a short journey north of Boston on New Hampshire’s Seacoast but though it is just a short journey it may as well be a world away, a Celtic crossing indeed in to this old community.
The Irish have always had a very strong association with the town historically. It was the first point of disembarking for hundreds of thousands of immigrants and many of them made it their home. Many of the revolutionary leaders and fighters were Irish, including Matthew Thornton and General John Sullivan. The military history of the city ensured that many stayed and joined the forces.
The strong cultural identity that the Irish migrants kept is still a motivator in this City, with quite a few Irish and Irish related establishments are situated cross Portsmouth.
Celtic Crossing Irish Gift Shop
Going since 1998, the Celtic Crossing gift shop has been a centrifugal force in Portsmouth’s Irish community. Steven and Debra Dodd settled in to Portsmouth and wanted to give something back to the community. They source and import Celtic gifts from Ireland, Scotland, Wales and Cornwall. Kilt rentals are also available. Periodically the shop will have Irish music playing in it. Like many smaller shops it is a family concern and all play their part in making it a success.
The product selection varies from household to clothing and there is a strong bias towards high quality items. The food selection has more items that one is normally accustomed to seeing. With pride of place naturally going to Barry’s Tea, or “real tea” as my father calls it.
112 Congress Street Portsmouth, NH 03801
Rí Rá Irish Bar
One thing that we can all agree on is that there are a lot of Irish bars in America. It is like our Starbucks export so to consistently win titles such as below means that someone is taking their craft very serious.
- Official Guinness Toast Headquarters
- Guinness Greatest Pints in America
- Best Irish Pub – Taste magazine
This bar is actually an Irish bar, it is situated in the old Portsmouth bank which was built by Irish workers in the 1700s. The bar interior was rescued from an Irish bar and the paneling from an old manor house. The focal feature of the Rí Rá bar is the glass dome in the ceiling with the great seal of New Hampshire located in the centre. It may be located far from its Celtic heartland cross the sea but this bar holds its own with anything back in the auld sod.
22 Market Square, Portsmouth, NH 03801
Ireland on the Square
Market Square got a boost in 2009 with the opening of “Ireland on the Square”. Dublin born Paul Mackey was involved in the Irish gifts wholesale market for years but he always wanted to own his own shop, so when the chance came to take a prime retail space on Market Square, they went for it. Using his decades of experience in buying Irish Celtic gifts, crossing the world their shop has developed an enviable product line. They still visit Ireland 3 times a year to source new products and develop old relationships, holidays are always about work when you run an Irish import store.
Popular Irish Jewelry brand Solver is proving a hit with their American customers as are the Guinness and Jameson branded rugby shirt. Paul has a roguish charm about him and a real passion for working with people, that infectious enthusiasm is really going to help drive their gift business in the town.
I hope that you have a feel for some of the great Irish American focal points in Portsmouth, from the Celtic Crossing to the Square and where you can go for a meal, a pint and a bit of craic after.
In every bar in Ireland you will find a dartboard and they nearly always are a Guinness branded product.
Darts started being played in Ireland since the early 1900s and it really took hold as a sport in public houses.
Guinness being the defining drink in Ireland and a company noted globally for its marketing prowess and innovation started branding Guinness Dartboards with its name and logos and supplying them to bars. They were made to be a high quality functional board but also one that would add to the decor of the bar and were another piece of guinness memorabilia that doubled up as promotional material.
As a game, darts developed from the medieval war practice of throwing short javelins or darts in battle. The practice of this was where the game originated. The darts were reduced to a more civilian friendly version when modern warfare made them obsolete as a fighting tool.
The old vintage dartboards were made out of a block of Elm and the barman would have to soak it in water every night to allow the timber fill out the holes from darts. After years of use the elm board would start to issue radical cracks from the centre and these created sections and they were duly used as targets. The publican would have to soak the elm board every night so that the timber cells would swell and fill out the holes. In Ireland old Guinness left overs were poured in to a barrel and the board soaked in that. It had a 2 fold utility, it was a barrel already full of liquids so convenient and the Guinness stained the elm and gave it a cream brown colour when it dried.
In time, these sections were painted on and became a standard part of the dartboards, the sections that we know today. The real break through for the game came in the 1920s when Nodor developed a dart board backer made out of fibers from the Agave plant. Instead of the dart sticking in to the board and leaving a permanent hole they would push the tightly packed fibers to each side as they stuck in to it. The bar man had one less thing to do and they loved these boards that were convenient to use while the players were delighted that they did not have to pull them out of solid timber or clay which many antique ones were made from.
Guinness started in the 1920s creating branded and fun merchandise for bars and giving it away for free. It was a way of reinforcing their product in the mind of consumers and they quickly developed a reputation as a global innovator in marketing. It has been so effective that Guinness is now globally thought of as the national drink of Ireland.
From this perspective, creating a branded Guinness dartboard was a natural step,bar patrons would que up to stand in front of this board and start at it intently. So in the 1930s branded boards were given out to bars where Guinness was sold. These pieces were well crafted and made to fit in as a part of the decor of the bar, folding away in to cabinet with the Guinness logo.
They were shipped across the sea in to Irish bars in America as well and became a fixture in those establishments. The Guinness dart board became so associated with playing darts that it was not unusual for people to call a Sports shop and ask for bar style dart board for their own games room. Eventually Guinness released them as a branded gift item among, at this stage, hundreds of products that range from Clothes to Kitchen and art pieces.
A pint of Guinness in one hand and a dart in the other, stuff legends are made of.
As Christmas comes ever closer, the rush to get everything that you need from presents to food and supplies can be quiet stressful.
While online shopping for gifts has reduced somewhat the need to visit overcrowded malls, it is always going to be necessary to get out and shop for some items so that you can get back home to your family as quickly as possible.
The first thing you want to do, is get a blank sheet of paper and write down a few lines on what message you want to convey to in the eulogy. This is private use only but it will help gather your thoughts and will allow write the eulogy more freely.
Secondly you want to write down all the great things that you loved about the person. Describe their characteristics and who they were. This is so that you can honour the person appropriately by making the eulogy clear and focused. It can be hard to deliver and write an eulogy so it is important. You should maybe consult family and friends so that you’ll be able to have a full picture, everyone will have their own stories and impressions. Write it in your own way.
Thirdly, remember that when you are writing the eulogy that as long as it is heartfelt. The first draft is not going to be the finished eulogy. It is best to put it aside for 30 minutes when you have it done, and then come back with a fresh mind to work on the second draft of the eulogy.
Remember that a eulogy is a great honour to give but also a very difficult task as well, it just has to be heartfelt and through to your emotions. It has to reflect what other people may need to hear as well. It is part of the act of healing and honoring that is part of the grief and bereavement process. There is in reality no right or wrong when you write an eulogy.
So here is a step by step process for developing the piece that is the best that it can be.
Step 1: Stories and memories.
Get some family and friends together in a group and look back at stories, shared experiences and memories. It really is here that you’ll figure out what you want to say and more importantly how to say it. This is also a positive organic way of coming to terms with grief and a lot of good memories can come flooding back.
Step 2: Review and flesh out memories.
Go through some of you most favourite ones, flesh out ideas and quotes. Which ones paint a picture?
Step 3: Develop a central theme.
Organize the writing of a eulogy around a central theme, it can be anything like strength of character, giving nature, always tried his best for his family. Look at the notes and this will strike you. I think if it is heartfelt then it will define itself.
Step 4: Develop a structure.
Introduction, middle and end. Make a piece that flows over 20 minutes. It may sound like a long time but you will be surprised how quickly it goes.
Step 5: Editing.
Put it down for an hour and walk away and do something else, focus on what that is. Come back and read what you have written and amend accordingly. Writing a piece without breaks is twice as challenging, when you edit after a break the eulogy will take a much more cohesive feel to it.
Step 6: Test run.
Read through it several times and then stand up face the wall and read it as if you were at the service, out loud.
It might be an idea as well to let someone close to you read over it and see if they have any suggestions.
Step 7: Delivery.
At the heart of the grieving process and the eulogy is a key concept I believe. There is of course the hurt of loss but remember it is also a change to give thanks for the shared times together. To live as a human, to be aware of love and life is a rare gift. Be thankful for the moments of joy, how ever brief. We all know from personal experience that this can be a difficult approach when it is so raw.
Image By Power_of_Words_by_Antonio_Litterio.jpg: Antonio Litterioderivative work: InverseHypercube – Power_of_Words_by_Antonio_Litterio.jpg, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=17662006
For 150 years Long Island was the capital of the Irish in New York and the first landing on American soil for millions of Irish emigrants over the centuries and the visible legacy of that live on today.
The Irish population was significant in the formative years of America and especially so in New York that the Fire service and Police service often have the Irish flag, costumes and pipes on special occasions. 12% of the city today claim Irish roots and the percentage is much larger in those 50+. Reflecting the large immigration from Ireland in the 1950s.
This rich legacy is reflected in the large number of Irish gift stores in Long Island. This is a selection compiling their contact details, addresses, opening hours and a brief synopsis about them and their products.
I hope that you find it useful.
This Irish and Scottish store is owned by Joan and John Nisbet, who hail from Ireland and Scotland. They are both passionate about their countries and shared Gaelic heritage. So a joint Irish and Scottish shop in Long Island was a natural coming together.
They “specialize in all types of Scottish & Irish Gift ware, jewelry, music, musical recordings, highland regalia & attire, piping & drumming equipment and supplies, ethnic foods including candies, groceries, soft drinks and many other wonderful treats”.
From looking at their site, they seem to be the main supplier for dress Kilts in the New York area. Kilt accessories such as the Sporran and Sgian Dhus are also included. I was pleased to see that bagpipes are offered in store and online.
So while they have diverse gifts and crafts from both countries they really have a niche market cornered with the Kilts and Bagpipes.
212 Kearny Ave,
Opens at 10:00
Lynbrook Irish shop on Hendrickson decided to do things different to the trends in Irish retail shops in America. Instead of closing the Brick and go for online Clicks They stated with a website, built a business and then brought it on to mainstreet. Showing that with wider trend doesn’t have to apply to every business. The omens were good ough given that the site had won the 2010 StartupNation Moms in Business award.
Owned by another husband and wife team whose roots hail from the West of Ireland, where they often return to visit family and check out the latest Celtic crafts and ideas from the old sod.
Their gift focus reflects the changing market and they are cery strong on event gifts and products. Ones that will ensure repeat customers and local custom at that. So Irish Communion dresses, Irish Communion Dresses and Suites, Communion Accessories ,Irish Baptismal Attire and Gifts, Dance Shoes and Christmas gifts are all stocked.
144 Hendrickson Ave
Opens at 10:00
Mary Anne’s Irish Gift Shop
Maryanne’s is a family Irish boutique shop located in Riverdale, New York that has been importing products from Ireland for 25 years.
They stock clothing for men, women and children, hand painted pottery, mouth blown glass with many items that can be personalized. The Connaughton family have built up a large selection of gifts from Ireland. Much of which they chose themselves. It is a shop that goes for quality over Kitsch. Kiss me I’m Irish or Plastic Erin Go Braghs are out and great artisan produced pieces in my opinion great Tshirts and tops make this a place well worth visiting.
5694 Riverdale Ave
Opens at 10:00
Irish Products Ltd
Going for 29 years at this stage, Irish Products limited has split its work between selling direct to the consumer and also drop shipping for other Irish online shops. Another example of an outlet adapting to the changing dynamic in the American Irish Gift market.
There is a strong emphasis on Irish clothing and household items and a developing niche in Kilt rental. When you search in Google for Irish Products in America, they are top site in the results, a testimony to a long slog in building the business. With over 85 gift categories, if they do not have it then not many else will.
9018 4th Ave
Open until 17:30
The below sites and shops are ones that I have yet to review. If you are one of the propreitors of these Irish gift houses then do please contact me if you would like to submit a write up about your business.
Village Irish Imports Plus
Unfortunately this business has closed, which is a pity as it has a great reputation for custom made shirts.
8905 3rd Ave
6 Upper Dr
As far as I can ascertain this closet is closed and no gifts are coming out at the moment.
Additional shops in Long Island.
The below sites and shops are ones that I have yet to review. If you are one of the propreitors of these Irish gift houses then do please contact me if you would like to submit a write up about your business. That applies as well if you have not been included but are based in the Long Island area and have an online or brick Irish Gift store.
Manor Irish Gift Shop
70 Covert Ave
Little Shop of Shamrocks
173 Islip Ave
Opens at 10:00
Olde Towne Garden Inc
1902 Wantagh Ave
Opens at 10:00
Quirks Irish Gifts
1 review · Gift Shop
712 W Montauk Hwy
Opens at 10:00
Kathleen’s of Donegal Irish Imports
8 N Park Ave
Opens at 09:30
Irish Crossroads Ltd
18 Main St
Opens at 10:00
Shamrock Gift Shop
921 McLean Ave
Celtic Irish Gift And Treasures
7217 Grand Ave
Opens at 10:00
Molly Mcguire’s Irish Trsrs
No reviews · Gift Shop
75 Main St
This list is a quick over view of the Irish gift house and shop space in Long Island, New York.
To be included or not included does not reflect a favouritism or a disdain n my part but rather the limited experience of the market place there as I am based thousands of miles away.
I wish you enough
I wish you enough sun to keep your attitude bright no matter how grey the day may appear.
I wish you enough rain to appreciate the sun even more.
I wish you enough happiness to keep your spirit alive and everlasting.
I wish you enough pain so that even the smallest of joys in life may appear bigger.
My wish you enough gain to satisfy your wanting.
I wish you enough loss to appreciate all that you possess.
I wish you enough hellos to get you through the final good-bye.
(The copyright for this poem belongs to the author: Bob Perks)
I wish you enough is an emotive poem that was written by Bob Perk after overseeing a chance encounter at an airport between two people, a mother and a daughter who were parting for what they expected to be the last time.
The mother was seriously ill and both believed that it would be their final time together before the funeral. Life is sometimes like that we have to go on even though circumstances make us want to stay and be there. The lines of the poem are based on the hopes and wishes the mother had for her daughter.
The mother wanted to sum up a life time of love in one go.
Poetry sometimes focuses on the simile, rich description and an attempt at eloquently but in the end fails to capture feelings of longing, sorrow, loss, expectation, or uncertainty.
It is a poem of hope while it acknowledges a final goodbye it is a resounding call to the daughter to live life, to enjoy its every unique moment and to do it knowing that the enveloping love that her Mother always had for will still be there.
Life will not always be as nice as we want, that there will be many periods of loss, heartbreak and sadness. That is a normal part of our existence, in fact a Buddhist Monk friend of mine defines it as the marker of a normal life. It means you are living life.
This is why the Mother says “I wish you enough sun to keep your attitude bright no matter how grey the day may appear.” The Mother knows that there will be grey days ahead, same as their will be sunny ones as well. It is important to keep in mind that both are impostors and should be treated as such. We experience the emotion of both because of what we assign to it, to what we want or do not want. The mother is wishing her daughter to appreciate it a way that is very much true to Zen, “grey days same as sunny ones”, which they are.
On our worst day the flowers will still bloom and the grass grow, same as on the best day. This is followed on towards to the end of the poem where the Mother says “I wish you enough loss to appreciate all that you possess” This is I think the central theme of the poem that loss is what makes us value what we have, that it is also part of life and the changing nature of it. We appreciate flowers every spring because they are there for a while and then they are gone. It is a natural change that we accept, same as we have to accept that life is only a passing experience.
The simple message of this is love, enjoy love, keep it bright and love is always there, give it back in life and it will come back to you. The “I wish you enough poem” can take the love one person gave you and show you how to take that and live it for life, to turn it towards everything in life.
To live, really live and what more could a person who is dying, who understands in such stark terms that what we have, own, want is worthless in comparison to loving others, to appreciating the littlest things in life that is a real Irish blessing in life and what our prayers should be directed towards.
The Blarney Stone
The legend of this famous stone, the Blarney stone, is as original and imaginative as Ireland itself.
For many years now the stone has attracted tourists who want to enjoy its beautiful surroundings and also seeking to gain the power of speech. You see those that kiss it gain the gift of the gab, the ability to speak fluidly on any topic!
The stone is found in Blarney Castle, located just outside of Cork. It dates from the 10th century and was replaced in the 12th by a stone castle. Its builders were the Clan McCarthy, the Kings of Munster. Their hegemony over Munster lasted until 1646 when they were driven out by Oliver Cromwell’s sacking of Munster.
Stories about the stone abound some of the more well known being:
- It is actually the Lia Fail or otherwise called the Stone of Destiny – upon which the King of Ireland was crowned.
- It was Jacob’s pillow, brought to Ireland by Jeremiah, the prophet
One thing about the stone is true. It as popular today with as it was 500 hundred years ago and will continue to be popular with visitors looking to gain mastery over words.