Friday, May 29, 2009

There is always a home here

My brother is leaving next week to continue his great walk up the Pacidic Coast Trail. My daughter was terribly concerned about how he wouldn't know anyone where he is going.
My brother patted her on the head and told her, "Where you go ou can find an Irish community. We're everywhere."
And boy isn't that the truth. The Irish came from a race that prized traveling, and we have managed to lose pretty much every piece of land we have owned. And the joy of being part of a culture of travelers is that when you wander into a community you will always have a home there. Especially if you are lucky enough to wander into a community that has members of your family (family, in Irish terms, is very very extended. If you have the same last name you're related).
I haven't ever had to use this, but my brother has. Around this area and pretty much anywhere in New Jersey we actually are related to the Brady's. However that hospitality extends out west too, and we are warmly welcomed into a community as family. It's us against them, after all.
And of course it works the other way, if a random Brady shows up he'll get a warm meal for sure. If he can prove he is actual blood, or has an OK from another family member (as strange as that sounds, it has happened, sometimes in my family you get sent random people), he will stay the night.
Old Irish have a strong sense of community that hasn't been as diluted as one might think since we moved over here. My family is new in America, my Grandfather and great Grandmother were born in Ireland. We still hold tight to ideas that seem kind of dumb, but are very important. As I've traveled I've found we aren't the only family that encourages marriages to only Irish (or occassionaly Scot) families. We aren't the only people that hold to the old old ways (if you know someone who puts milk outside on full moons and the summer solstice you probably know someone who is Irish, they are getting a blessing from the Fae and it is very important to us).
That's why we can go anywhere at all and feel welcome, because someone else was there first, another wanderer who made a home. And he will welcome you into it.

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