Monday, March 8, 2010

Inspire: Celebrate Your Heritage

Nobody has ever before asked the nuclear family to live all by itself in a box the way we do.  With no relatives, no support, we've put it in an impossible situation.  
~Margaret Mead

Next week is St. Patrick's Day.  Traditionally celebrated here in the US with green beer, drunken parties, and turning bodies of water green.  St. Patrick is one of the patron saints of Ireland.  His history is often misunderstood as well.  We Pagans tend to go overboard and wear black on this day as protest against his driving out the snakes from Ireland, which we think means killing the Pagans.  I admit, I did my turn wearing black in high school.

But St. Paddy's day isn't about snakes or Pagans.  It's about national, cultural, and ethnic pride.  The big celebration has come about not to celebrate the man but to celebrate the country.  This is year, as the day of green rolls around, I am thinking of my own history and genetics.

As my father wasn't in the picture growing up, I don't know half of my heritage.  The half of my family that I do know is such a mish-mash that I really don't know what I am made up of.  When my grandma died, we lost contact with the parts of the family that study genealogy.  However, I do believe we are in some part Dutch, based on family comments and last name.  There may be some Irish or English, German, and Norwegian.  My son, I believe, is mostly German through his father.  But he isn't in the picture anymore either, so we can't really ask.  But based on last name and what I remember, it's definitely a huge part of his genes.

I've always felt a little sad when it comes to thinking on ethnic heritage as mine is so hard to come by.  It seems like everyone else can sport this flag or that flag and say "That is where we come from," or "My grandparents came from there."  Me?  I just say we're a bunch of mutts from the US.  Some day I may get into it, but not right now.  That doesn't stop me from wondering, however.

This week our Inspiration comes from family, heritage, and the past.  Where does your family come from?  Who do you call your family?  Is blood more important than ties of friendship or the other way around?  What makes you special?

Wiki on St. Patrick's Day

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