Monday, March 16, 2009


It was a small moment, but a lovely one. We made our way over to where the St. Patrick Day parade made the turn from Bloor to head south on Yonge. There were hundreds of people lining the street and there was an atmosphere of fun and gaiety. (Shut up.) Even though I do not have a drop of Irish blood in me - I felt like all those bowls of Lucky Charms as a child made up for that fact.

Sitting in the power chair I was able to relax and watch the parade go by. I heard them before I saw them. They were playing as they came around the corner. Faint strains of 'Danny Boy' wafted down the street. Then the band came round the corner. They were a Phillipine Cultural Marching Band and they were playing a stirring version of the Irish classic.

They got a huge cheer from those around me. Every single person knew a few words of the song and happily sang along. Across from me, on the other side of the street, were people from a variety of countries and every one was wearing green and many had painted shamrocks on their cheeks.

The Guiness float got a huge cheer and the 'Hillbilly Girls' got a warm but confused reception. The firefighters came by and some of the men, oddly, set hearts aflame. The parade ended when St. Patrick made his way by, greeted by a huge cheer.

Moments of cultural diversity are rare and precious.

Moments of spiritual union in communities often rife with conflict are to be savoured.

It is in these moments that I have one of my most profound thoughts, 'Let's all go get a beer.'


Anonymous said...

'Let's all go get a beer.'

And so say all of us xx

Anonymous said...

"Small but lovely moments" are what it's all about, it seems to me.

Anonymous said...

Dave going to get a beer is the traditional end to the parade here in Ireland.

Anonymous said...

La Fheile Padraic Shone Dhuit, Dave!
Happy St Patricks Day!
Glad you enjoyed your parade.
There is a very big one here in dublin tomorrow and the weather is wonderful right now!

Anonymous said...

I love St. Paddy's today! The O'Malleys are all getting together at our home tomorrow for a celebration. The beer and Irish whiskey are at the ready.

Shan said...

I'll drink to that.

Elizabeth McClung said...

Living in a part of the country where there is no large irish population, I always get flummoxed by St. Patricks day as I DO order a beer and it comes and I say to the barperson, "Um, your beer is green, I think you need to check the keg" and they just laugh heartily and walk off. Or, as happened twice, once in Helen, GA and once in Chicago, I pointed out to people, "Um, excuse me, your river just turned very, very GREEN!" and they say something like, "Of course!" and laugh and walk off leaving me to wonder if this town dumps radioactive waste on such a schedule people are used to it! Eventually someone will clue me into that it is St. Patricks Day, to which (after having the green beer), is "Let's have a lime Margarita!" (because that BETTER be green!)

Terri said...

Slainte! (To your health!)We had a lovely parade day too. Much laughter. It's a good thing.