17 March, 2009

The Road to Jerusalem Runs through Ireland

" ...and a fine soft evenin' it 'tis. I think I join with me friends down at the pub and talk a little tre-e-eason. "
~ Barry Fitzgerald in John Ford's: "The Quiet Man"


Catholic/Irish I am, and Swedish/Baptist....and the Anglican Methodist~Bradford/Ripley English I am. Over arching all, I am God's own child, adopted brother of Christ and an American citizen.

Its not been an easy road. There were drugs involved.

I recall being "drug" to the kitchen to explain the cookie dough flung upon the newly papered walls.......and the Irish fire in Mum's eyes. "Who started this?" she asked, voice crackling with anger.
- I was the eldest, after all....tanned fannies.

I recall being "drug" to the open gate in the backyard where there used to be chicks and ducklings in an enclosure...yanno, the ones we had to have for easter?
- I was the eldest, after all...tanned fannies.

I recall being "drug" into the garage where Dads tools were scattered about and an unfinished "go-cart" lay in pieces. He could not put the Crown Vic in the garage!
- That damn near ended in a fist fight.

I recall being drug out of bed on a fine, hot July morning after a long night with Timothy O'Brien....driving the empty canyon roads drinking whiskey.
- Dad was way too pissed......Mom drug us out into the yard, under the apples and elms and pointed the way to the lawnmower and the edge-trimmer, the rakes and....and the stink and the noise!

She said only this:

"If you are going to drink like an adult....you have to take responsibility like an adult."

THEN....beloved, I recall being "drug" out of bed, or out of the office, or off the factory floor to answer the dreaded phone when death came to call. First in 1988, another in 1991, then 1997, then 2005, two in 2007, grief became familiar.

Death stalks us all....and wins, for a short breath in Kronos time. And then beloved, God's will and promise calls us home.

And then and there, we must choose.

The promise of God intervenes and we all stand on a bright and distant shore........in a quickening sunrise...and the songs that once resonated in our youthful hearts rise again to sing the unsullied songs of promise and of Spring.

There..... there on a sweet grass knoll, soft breezes blow under a spreading oak, or stately elm, or fig, or rowan, or birch, or larch....There sits the figure of our brother, our Lord, our Saviour...the word of God manifest into flesh: Jesus the Christ.

His arms are open wide, wounded hands beckoning, his eye glistening with welcoming tears.

What will you do? Oh yes, "...and a river run's through it."
Happy St. Paddy's DAY!


  1. Something has my eyes misting a bit . . . a fine essay, lad, a fine essay . . .

    I hope to suddenly become aware of someone near me, look up, and ask, "Is it time?" When He nods yes and smiles, I'll smile back, put my book down, and reach out to take His hand as He helps me to my feet . . .

  2. Digi.....Thanks!

    I still think Tolkien said it best when the Ringbearers gathered at the Grey Havens with the last of the Elven Lords. I won't try to copy it here.

    I only know that as my earthly days pile year on year and I, long in the tooth, grow more weary...I long to go home!

    But something sez...not yet, ya ornery Celt!!!! There's still work to do!

  3. Hey hey you two -

    Let's don't be rushing things, OK?