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Upsides, downsides and happy St. Patrick’s Day to you too! As winter toys are hung ‘till that time comes again when those who believe…

Upsides, downsides and happy St. Patrick’s Day to you too!

As winter toys are hung ‘till that time comes again when those who believe the most beautiful sight is sun shining on snow, they may take solace and join the happiness of those who, instead, believe the most beautiful sight in the world is sunshine on where snow used to be.

In a land where the longest day is indeed a long day, it’s hard to imagine a place where the sun is welcomed but once a year, if the cloud gods permit. ‘Tis in Ireland it is; it’s called Newgrange, and this is it:

 ‘Tis a 75-metre-diameter tomb built before the Egyptian pyramids came about. The small black dot between the two larger squares, about the size of a kitchen window, gives a sunbeam, which has travelled some 152 million kilometers, entry only during the autumnal equinox, December 21, 22, 23, cloud gods permitting.

It, and one or two other such tombs are wondrous indeed, demonstrating the engineering and astronomical skills of these long-ago peoples about which much remains unknown.

Especially unknown is a more earthy miracle, especially for a building in a land which knows rain as well as our West coast cousins. It is a 5,000-year-old roof that does not leak. Surely a miracle in its own right?

Perhaps another St. Patrick’s Day an Irish miracle will come our way — the plans for such a roof will be unearthed for use by we who have need.

To those long-ago people, a toast and ‘tis Irish it is:

So here’s to you and yours

And to mine and ours

And if mine and ours

Ever come across to you and yours

I hope you and yours will do

As much for mine and ours

As mine and ours have done

For you and yours!

Here again, from Alex Levine, some Irish diet advice:

Only Irish coffee provides, in a single glass, all four essential food groups: alcohol, caffeine, sugar and fat.

Spring’s blessing soon to be upon us, flowers . . .

Irish Murdoch, in A Fairly Honourable Defeat, gave us a new way of looking at flowers, saying, “People from a planet without flowers would think we must be mad with joy the whole time, to have such things about us.”

She was quoted on an internet list of 300 Women Who Changed the World. It was part of a celebration on International Women’s Day, March 8th. I guess it would be impossible to quote the thousands of women who change the world for the better every day. There were many who spoke their titles disparagingly not too long ago; “just a housewife” was the most unjust of all.

Who among the 300, whoever they may be, can equal a home where children, mother, father, and happiness live together?

Where would the world be without them?

A tip of the hat to March, a month full of promise: International Women’s Day, the Ides of March, St. Patrick’s birthday and lots of other birthdays, so a happy birthday to those born in March, and again, a favourite Irish blessing: “May those who love us, love us. And those who don’t love us, may God turn their hearts, and if He can’t turn their hearts, may He turn their ankles so we’ll know them by their limping.”