Thursday, March 18, 2021

An Irish Mermaid Speaks, Belatedly


My mermaid and I are late with this St. Patrick's Day greeting but you know how changeable mermaids are, especially an Irish merrow who I pretend is a Middle Irish murdúchann. 

Yes, she should be green but then, merrows are shape shifters so why not red?

I thought of my mermaid who sits by a beautiful shamrock plant when I read what my favorite philosopher, Alexander McCall Smith's Isabel Dalhousie, has to say about them:

"One should always listen to mermaids," said Isabel. "They address one so infrequently that anything they have to say must be important."



Even children know that a mermaid can love a human being so I'm sure that the hearts of sea-nymphs all over the world have ached for the sadness and fear in humans this past year. 

Although we are feeling more hopeful this March and are beginning to see vaccination numbers growing for this terrible illness that has plagued us, some have experienced personal loss and nearly everyone has seen their life changed in ways they never would have thought possible.



RH and I have both had our vaccinations and most of our immediate family have had their first one, something for which I give thanks every day. And yet, there are still 2 a.m. moments when a feeling of panic envelops me and I start praying with an agitated spirit.

I try to remember this quote from one of my favorite authors, Elizabeth Goudge. 

And then I say to myself that we should believe in that which we felt when we were strong and happy rather than in that which we feel when we are sick and sad. Do you not think, Judith, that one is more truly oneself in times of joy than in times of sorrow?

This is from Goudge's 1938 novel The Middle Window and I hope there is wisdom in that advice. I try not to trust these middle of the night feelings but rather remember what I know to be true. I am more myself in "times of joy than in times of sorrow." 

There have been times lately when I feel like Shirley MacLaine's character Ouiser in Steel Magnolias--"I'm not as nice as I used to be." Maybe that's true but I prefer to believe it's not. I prefer to blame it on a year of pandemic, a year of missing family, a year of not being able to go thrifting or antiquing, a year of no birthday parties, a year of no hugs...and the list could go on but does not include family members on the list of those who have died from COVID-19. So what on earth do I have to complain about? 

I think it's in those self-indulgent grumpy moments that my mermaid wants me to remember times of joy and strength and not be drug down in an undertow of fear.

She wants me to remember that Spring is nearly officially here and new growth is outside my windows.

I'm excited about that! Never before have I been so glad to see March on my Karen Adams calendar.



Don't you love that handbag? Mermaids may not need handbags but I would love one just like this. 

I'll say slán for now, dear family and friends, but remember one thing from this belated St. Patrick's Day post...

Listen to the mermaids! 

One last little known fact, Mermaids love to dance. You gotta love that!