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!  





  1. Love your sweet mermaid. I think this Covid pandemic has changed all of us. How could it now. Some for seeing the better in life and some not so much. I feel it has made me strong in many ways. While I still fear things with this pandemic I feel there is a light at the end of the tunnel. I got my first shot this week. Glad you have both of yours. Happy Friday. xoxo

  2. Dewena, this post is lovely and so true. And, Your mermaid is lovely as well and I imagine true also.
    Yes, this pandemic has taught us many things, some really good and others, not so much.
    Throughout this past year, when I so wanted to go out and about, I remembered a pencil drawing I saw many years ago. It was of an elderly man, with a few strands of hair remaining, all of which were standing straight up. His hands were also helping pull out what had not fallen out. The caption underneath the drawing, said: "This world has about taken my last nerve." I have felt that exact way many times this year. But, with spring almost here, she has brought with her much hope.
    I hope you had a lovely St. Patrick's Day and that your spring and summer will be full of all the people and things you hold dear.

  3. Love your mermaid and your thoughts you shared with us. I belong to a women's group and several years ago, we all started calling each other mermaids and wouldn't you know it...because of my lousy memory, I can't remember why in the world we started calling each other mermaids! I will have to find out. Jog my memory. ;-)

    I see flowers sprouting in your yard. Oh, I can't wait! We have the green shoots of daffodils sprouting up, but that's it here for northern Illinois.

    I'm glad things are opening up here in Illinois (though of course, we still have to wear masks and social distance). Going into vintage stores and restaurants and having a cup of coffee or tea with a friend at the local coffee shop are making me feel a bit more hopeful and bring me some needed cheer. I've been reading articles about the toll this pandemic has taken on our mental health and the results aren't pretty. We have to remember that our mental health is every bit as important as our physical well-being. I also try and take walks outside around my neighborhood every day, too...the fresh air and sunshine also perk up my spirits.


  4. Hello Dewena,
    Such a lovely post. Yes, those middle of the night thoughts are not to be trusted or acted upon. That's a lovely Elizabeth Goudge quotation.
    I'm so glad you have had your vaccinations. We will have to wait until well into April, but my parents (in their 80s) have appointments for next week. We are all weary of this pandemic and its restrictions, yet, as you've said, we have much for which to give thanks. The brighter days of spring certainly help lift moods.

  5. Dewena, your mermaid is very charming. You know, years ago, I had quite a collection of mermaids, but through the years and all the moves, I gave them away. I really like Elizabeth Goudge's quote, and I do think it's true. I was noticing that pretty glass box that your mermaid sits on, that's gorgeous. Looking outside your window, everything looks so green there. It's still quite cold here in the mountains, and we had another snowfall. Yes, listen to the might hear something very unusual someday. What a quaint post this was, Dewena.

    Have a pleasant and restful weekend, dear friend.


  6. Your mermaid must be very pleased with her current surroundings - what a pretty display! Does she have views to the beautiful spring flowers that have sprouted on your front lawn? I'm sure they would make her feel less nostalgic for her coastal home.

    So glad you and RH are now protected against this frightening pandemic. It has been a year like no other, indeed. I think we all miss the same things, especially hugs from loved ones, being able to spend time in each others' company, traveling. Let's hope that life will one day be as we knew it, but even better, applying the lessons we've learned during this time.

    Spring is my favourite season, and this year, more than ever, I am trying to make an intentional effort to experience all of God's generous gifts, and not take anything for granted, for life is so very precious.

    Wishing you a beautiful first day of Spring!

    Poppy xx

  7. finally I have come here! the internet was down in our neighborhood all day and night yesterday.
    it was worth waiting for. but then it always is.
    "rather remember what I know to be true. I am more myself in times of joy than in times of sorrow."
    I used to want to BE a mermaid! there's a very old movie...
    Ann Blythe plays the mermaid ~ caught by a middle aged man.
    he tries to keep her a secret. but mermaids are hard to keep.
    it's an enchanting movie. just as your post is ENCHANTING in every way!
    do you remember it? Mr Peabody and the Mermaid was the name of it I think.
    he's one of my favorite actors and for the life of me can't remember his name just now! he played Nick... husband to Nora Charles in their popular series of movies! LOL. good grief.
    maybe I did have a stroke after all. LOL.
    anyway. Happy Spring darling Dewena. and hugs to the puppies! xoxo

  8. Hello,
    I always enjoy your posts Dewena.
    February was a difficult month for us, we lost a very dear friend of ours and two other people that we were acquainted with.
    Spring is helping me keep my spirits up and I am so thankful our March weather has been nice.
    Love to you, your sweetheart, your pups and that lovely mermaid.

    P.S. When I met my husband, he knew I loved the nautical style. He took me to a tavern that had a mermaid themed bar. It really was unique and the tavern was full of nautical antiques.

  9. Dearest Dewena, good morning! First of all, I want to thank you for visiting my blog numerous times; I don't spend a lot of time there anymore and I often find it difficult to get to other people's blogs to leave a comment. Your kindness is always a welcome moment when I see you have visited. What a lovely story about mermaids!

  10. I loved every word of your post! I remember Gladys T. coming downstairs and having cereal when those 2 am horrors struck!

  11. Such a beautifully written post, I love the wise words and all the quotes. I'd like to think that there are silent mermaids out there wishing us well. Glad you had your vaccinations!

  12. You turned your comments back on! How did I miss this? Hope you're doing okay, Dewena. Your lovely mermaid is sitting in such a pretty arrangement. We had our shots in May, and I'm glad to be on this side of them. Hopefully, they will help. It's now mid-June, and people are trying to get back to a more normal summer. It's great to see, but always with a bit of fear that we're not done yet. The numbers here are still trending downward, and I'm hoping that will continue all summer so people can enjoy it! Take care, my dear!

  13. Hello, dear Dewena. I've been thinking about you and stopped by to see what's what with you. I'm sorry I've been remiss in visiting, and certainly sorry I missed this post all this time. I enjoyed it immensely. You are, my friend, a great writer. Mermaids are fascinating. I didn't know they like to dance, however. :) I hope you've had a good summer. It's hard to imagine we're coming up on fall. Not sure I'm ready for that just yet. Love to you! And hugs, of course. :)