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Irish toasts and blessings

On the Bright Side

It's St. Patrick's Day this weekend, and you know what that means: it's the day when everyone claims to be a little Irish. And why not? If this is a holiday that brings us closer to a feeling of togetherness and camaraderie through green colored celebrations and adopted heritage, then I say Faith and Begorrah, let the celebrating begin!

Mel Makaw.

St. Patrick's Day is one of my favorite holidays even if I don't typically do anything special on the day (I do usually try to wear something green, even if it's just an Irish-themed button). I don't feel a need to eat corn beef and cabbage or get drunk on green beer for the day, but I like the holiday so much because, as a writer, I so appreciate the Irish love of language and way with words.

Thanks to the Irish people's continued and unwavering reverence for words both spoken and written, there is a plethora of stories, toasts, blessings, poems and prose that are a big part of any mention of St. Paddy's Day. And thanks to the Irish love of life and friends, those little offerings are almost always positive, looking on the bright side if you will, and often said with a twinkle in the eye (of course, Irish stories in whatever form may be padded with a fair amount of blarney, but that's what makes them fun too).

So who doesn't enjoy the good wit, wisdom and wordplay found in those clever Irish toasts and other uses of language? I sure do. And one of my little joys in life is collecting Irish quotes and sayings, a collection from which I'd like to share some of my favorite toasts and blessings with you today. To wit:

May the blessings of each day be the blessings you need most; may the most you wish for be the least you get; and may the Lord keep you in His hand and never close His fist too tight.

May those who love us love us. And for those who don't love us, may God turn their hearts. And if He cannot turn their hearts, may he turn their ankles, so we may know them by their limping.

Here's to a long life and a merry one, a quick death and an easy one; a pretty girl and an honest one, a cold pint... and another one!

May the lilt of Irish laughter lighten every load. May the mist of Irish magic shorten every road. And may all your friends remember... all the favours you are owed.

May your heart be light and happy, may your smile be big and wide. And may your pockets always have a coin or two inside.

These things, I warmly wish for you: Someone to love, some work to do; a bit of o' sun, a bit o' cheer, and a guardian angel always near.

May you always be blessed with walls for the wind, a roof for the rain, a warm cup of tea by the fire, laughter to cheer you, those you love near you, and all that your heart might desire.

Here's to a fellow who smiles when life runs along like a song. And here's to the lad who can smile when everything goes dead wrong.

May you have warm words on a cold evening, a full moon on a dark night, and the road downhill all the way to your door.

May the best day of your past be the worst day of your future.

May the blessings of light be upon you, light without and light within. And in all your comings and goings, may you ever have a kindly greeting from them you meet along the road.

May you have all the luck and happiness that life can hold, and at the end of all your rainbows may you find a pot of gold.

Happiness being a dessert so sweet, may life give you more than you can ever eat.

Lucky stars above you, Sunshine on your way. Many friends to love you, Joy in work and play. Laughter to outweigh each care, In your heart a song. And gladness waiting everywhere, All your whole life long.

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

© 2024 Mel Makaw. Mel, local writer/photographer and author of On the Bright Side, a Collection of Columns (available locally at Tehachapi Arts Center and Healthy Hippie Trading Co.), welcomes your comments at [email protected]/.