I’ve never had much time for Saint Patrick’s day since I became an adult. When I was younger I used to march in my town’s parade, as I was part of the marching band in primary school. Later on I participated as a Girl Guide.
My memories of the parades are usually about the weather: numb fingers stiffly trying to play along to the beat, getting drenched by rain whipping in at just the moment we were due to head off, and figuring out inventive ways to wear layers of clothing under the uniforms so to stave off hypothermia.
I’m less fond of being in a crowd watching a parade, and so I don’t tend to go along to the parades as a spectator. They are certainly a lot more fun and colourful these days, and it’s great to see the parades in Ireland rival the ones abroad (that used not be the case.).
For me, it is the blossoming of daffodils in late February and early March that is one of the colourful signals of Spring. If we’re lucky they bloom just in time for Saint Patrick’s Day, and I’m more fond of looking at their bright heads tossing in the fierce March breezes, than at the bunting decorating the towns.
Some years are better than others for daffodils, but this time there are bright clusters of them to be seen in gardens, hedgerows, parks, and graveyards.
And when the sun shines their yellow heads dazzle you with optimism.