Tuesday, March 17, 2009

The Deeds of St. Patrick

It was genuinely warm today, not warm for two hours in the afternoon, but warm from mid-morning to past sunset. Our thermostat sat on its metaphorical hands all day, ready to command the heater to fire itself up, but it never came to pass. Outside, a bug landed on a book I was carrying, and I swore I saw a small cloud of gnats at one point. Maybe that was a spring-onset illusion.

But that's all we get for a while. One warm day.

I walked about a mile through the neighborhood in late afternoon, enjoying my coatlessness and taking note of all the Irish-themed decor. Not all that much, actually. Some cheap cardboard shamrocks, a stock image of a leprechaun painted on a beaten-up wood panel, and a sign or two in some windows.

Someone had scrawled "Happy St. Patrick's Day" on the sidewalk in white chalk, and there was a genuine Irish tricolor flying at one house -- the first time I'd ever seen that flag flown for the occasion, except at the downtown Chicago March 17 parades I used to attend because they were near my office.

As I've said before, St. Patrick's day is fine. But I have a quixotic desire to see a St. David of Wales (March 1), St. George of England (April 23) and St. Andrew of Scotland (November 30) also celebrated in non-saintly ways here in the New World. But maybe they didn't catch on because their miracles weren't as awesome (in the old sense) as those of St. Patrick, who besides chasing the snakes out of the Ireland also turned water into Guinness.

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