17 Mar An Irish Blessing of Rain to Refresh Your Soul
Today is St. Patrick’s Day, and although the ground has warmed and things have begun to grow and bloom again in my Southern homeland, it is still cold and things still seem to be relatively barren up here in the North, where I live now. Yet, today the morning was greeted by brilliant sunshine and birds are singing outside my bedroom window, and I know that spring is on its way.
Far fewer birds stay in the North for winter than they do in the South. Early one March morning, several years ago, I remember hearing the chatter of a band of birds outside, and I realized that during the Northern winter months, the mornings are silent and empty and cold. When the birds begin returning to the North, they fill the air with their songs and their assurances that life has begun to flush once more.
For a couple of weeks, I have noticed that the nodes on my forsythia bush are swelling, and yesterday, I noticed that my Zepherine Drouhin Rosebush has begun to turn a rich burgundy red. That redness reminds me that even during the winter, when things seemed to be dead, they were not.
Winter is not a time of death. It is a time of incubation. During the winter, the rains and the snows continue to water the earth, preparing for spring, when things will grow again.
Irish Blessing of the Rain
May the blessing of God’s soft rain be on you,
Falling gently on your head, refreshing your soul
With the sweetness of little flowers newly blooming.
Today, on St. Patrick’s Day, I am considering why it is that I love St. Patrick’s Day. I am not Irish, but St. Patrick’s Day is a celebration of the verdant greenness of the return of spring. It is about rainbows and hope. It is about new beginnings. Thank you, God, for St. Patrick’s Day and for all of the ways that you remind us that your love never dies. Thank you for sending the rains to refresh my soul.