The luck of the Irish is a phrase that will be often repeated this week. St. Patrick's Day is tomorrow and with it comes green beer, shamrocks, leprechauns and all sorts of Irish sayings that seem to get funnier with each passing year.
At least to me.
I come from good strong Irish stock. My mother was born in Ireland. Her father, my grandfather Seamus, came over to Canada looking for work. Once he was settled in Toronto, he sent for my grandmother Maggie and their three children. They boarded the ship, waved goodbye to their beloved green island and sailed off to Canada, landing at Pier 21 and making their way to Toronto. My mother was eight - red hair, blue eyes and freckles.
I like to think that luck crosses oceans because our family seems to have their fair share of it, despite being so far from the Emerald Isle. As my sister once put so beautifully: we all have horseshoes up our @$$#$! Never for big things like lottery winnings but we just seem to be a little bit luckier than others.
Lucky enough that I have learned to rely on it when I make decisions. If I'm not sure about something, I'll weigh all the factors but also be confident that I can count on a wee sprinkling of faerie dust to tip things in my favour.
Since it's such a big part of my life, I think a lot about luck and what it really means. There's the luck that happens at slot machines and black jack tables. I don't have that kind (which is probably a good thing). I have the kind where I go for a run and find a $20 bill lying on the ground in the middle of nowhere. I'm the person who randomly walks into a store the one day a year that the item I'm looking for is 80% off. The occasional week that I chose to do my long run on my own, it will almost invariably be lovely weather and the next morning, when the rest of the runners head out, it will be pouring rain.
Sometimes I think that it might be more about attitude and observation skills than about real leprechaun magic. Maybe ten people walked by the $20 bill before I did and I just paid more attention and found it. Maybe I think I get lovely weather when I run because I don't mind wind, rain and cold. Maybe things always work out because I have a naturally positive outlook on life so endings, even bad ones, don't really seem so bad.
Or maybe I have a one of the wee folk looking out for me, tasked with the job of keeping me safe, healthy and happy.
I take great comfort in either option.
And tomorrow, this little Irish lass will raise a glass to the green hills, soaring cliffs and hidden glens of the country that still calls to her from across the sea.