By Judy Berman
Tiny droplets cling to a blade of grass on a gorgeous spring morning. The timing is perfect.
As a teen, I would rush out and grab the dew from our lawn and spread it over the freckles on my face.
Mom told me this is the way to get rid of freckles.
Flash forward. There was no scientific merit to that Irish superstition.
I had better luck searching through our lawn for four-leaf clovers.
This is just part of the Irish folklore I grew up with. My Mom and my Dad are both part-Irish. Her ancestors hail from the south, my Dad’s from the north.
It was one of many contradictions in my DNA.
Some years on St. Paddy’s Days, I wore green. Some I wore orange (to represent Northern Ireland). Others, I wore a black armband to mourn the troubles in Ireland that have created a huge rift that is yet to be healed in this beautiful country.
But Ireland’s stronghold on my imagination and heritage drew me to it years ago. We made the trek to Blarney. There, we kissed the stone to acquire the gift of eloquence. (story is here)
One well-known for the gift of gab is a leprechaun. But a chance encounter could be risky.
How do you avoid a mischievous leprechaun? Mom said you should go out a different door than you entered because a leprechaun might be lying in wait for you to pull a trick on you.
Some websites on Irish lore disagree. Their theory is to enter and leave by the same door.
But Mom’s made sense.
Dad, an electronics engineer, might have raised a skeptical eyebrow at some of these stories. He had a very logical mind. Think: Mr. Spock, with a wonderfully warped sense of humor.
Still, Dad went along with the gag
These superstitions, folklore and traditions also became part of the fabric of my family’s life when our daughters were growing up.
Green mashed potatoes? Yep, we did that. I also tried green dye in the milk. Our girls loved it.
But corned beef and cabbage? Never. Our staple was ham and cabbage. Or, mustard-roasted chicken with spring cabbage, carrots and potatoes.
Check the crowds at the St. Patrick’s Day parade. You might see me waving at you across the way.
Before I leave, I’d like to share an Irish blessing: “May the best day of your life be the worst day of your future.”
“Erin go Bragh” … Long live Ireland.
What traditions, folklore or superstitions were part of your growing up years?
Photo: St. Patrick’s Day Parade – Dublin – Lord Mayor’s State Coach – taken March 17, 2007 by William Murphy http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/5/5d/ST._PATRICK%27S_DAY_PARADE_2007_-_DUBLIN-_Lord_Mayors_State_Coach.jpg/640px-ST._PATRICK%27S_DAY_PARADE_2007_-_DUBLIN-_Lord_Mayors_State_Coach.jpg