My sister and I took a trip to Ireland in 2005. Going to Ireland had been on my bucket list for years, so when we saw the trip advertised, we signed up for it and put down our deposits. We bought the trip insurance because Jim was in the nursing home, and his health and wellbeing would take priority over a vacation. Our trip was scheduled for September, and sadly, Jim passed away in April.
On St. Patrick’s Day in 2014, I posted some of our photos to Facebook, and when they came up in my “memories,” I reposted them. I think the one that got the most attention was the one of me kissing the Blarney Stone.
Of course, kissing the Blarney Stone was part of my bucket list too. To be perfectly honest, I had no idea how scary that entire experience would be. After we walked along the top edge of Blarney Castle we stood in line to kiss the stone. A man held onto each person as he dipped him or her backwards over a sheer drop to the ground. My sister, grossed out at the thought of all the other lips on the stone, “air kissed” it. Not me, if I was going to put my life in the hands of an old man that dipped people backwards all day long, I wasn’t about to miss the opportunity of a lifetime, and I kissed the stone.
Ireland, and St. Patrick’s Day, are blessed with a lot of symbolism: Ireland’s patron saint—St. Patrick, shamrocks, mischievous leprechauns, corned beef and cabbage, Irish music, the color green, and the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. We speak of the luck of the Irish as if it is a magical beacon, although Ireland and the Irish have suffered greatly throughout the centuries.
How many of us chase rainbows (dreams) believing that if our dreams come true, we’ll find that pot of gold (wealth or happiness) at the end. What many don’t realize is that the chase is often the best part and the pot of gold can be disappointing.
Jim searched for that pot of gold by buying lottery tickets. He always wanted to win the jackpot. After he became more forgetful, I’d find tickets lying around that he’d bought, but never checked. Occasionally, we would take a stack in to have them run through a machine. Jim never got that pot of gold, but the tickets were a small price to chase his dream of instant wealth.
I never had any desire to win the lottery because I figured it would just mess up my life. I was more than satisfied as long as I had enough money to pay the bills, buy groceries, and have some spending money left.
Jim and I never found gold, but our life had its share of rain and rainbows. We had hard times and good times. Although we never had monetary wealth, we were abundantly blessed with love and family.
On St. Patrick’s Day, my hope is that you enjoy chasing your dreams, and that you find a pot of “gold” filled with health, wealth, and happiness.
Copyright © March 2023 by L.S. Fisher