Sunday, March 13, 2011


All Things Irish
Racing out of the grocery store the other day, I stopped dead in my tracks.  There was a solid bank of blooming shamrock plants waiting for St. Patrick Day homes! 

My picture mind rewound several scenes at once to some years ago.  I had just met my Guardian Angel, Sharon when, "My shamrocks broke out in white stars of celebration.  My blue-purple violet gradually unwrapped seven lustrous flowers.  As they unfolded, together they formed the shape of a heart.  Seven is my favorite number.  'It is not a coincidence,' I thought.  My friend Mary told me that a  plant is an "always love' gift."

"What is important?"  People are important.  Today, this moment, is important.  How can I enrich this moment in timeless time?"

Irish tunes float along.  Some Irish folk music is over 1,000 years old.  I am picturing Galway Bay right now, and the Aran Islands where the fisherman sweaters originate.  The Isle of Innisfree music is playing. Innisfree is one of the Aran Islands in the mouth of Galway Bay.  Sun setting lyrics in the song, Galway Bay always bring me shivers.

I have a jar of seashells from the Aran Islands!  Treasured sweaters knit with love, every stitch has a meaning.  Each thick wool sweater identified the village and the family of the men who wore the knitted patterned artwork.  Men knit the sweaters as well as women! 

Again I felt my knitting needles as they clicked.  I meditated with the rhythm of yarn slipping through fingers.  Knitting was my meditation then...and gradually Tai Chi became a more physical mediation and medication, a much needed strength and flexibility for my whole body.

I first heard the Irish music before TV was born on our Big Radio, the frequencies that changed and enriched my life then and now.  Lilting Rose of Tralee and the Bard of Armaugh invites me to sing along... Armaugh was also a town in Central Pennsylvania...I thought it was spelled "Our Ma."  My petite Celtic maternal grandmother, "Ma," brushes out her waist length hair in long floating silver ringlets.

Knitting a Kelly green Aran sweater for my son's Christmas gift years ago also appeared in my imagination.  At that time I was learning the second part of Yang Long Form Tai Chi, the kicks, spins, and turns.  I knit.  I read Jou Tsung Hwa's book, The Dao of Taijiquan, one word at a time.  I took notes.  I practiced and re-practiced Tai Chi.  I wrote the names of the 108 movements on lists:  White Crane Spreads Wings. I listened to music, all kinds of music.  Connecting these patterns and balance of Yin and Yang, happy goals of the heart came into being:  vision to achievement and pride of accomplishment.

Years melted away when I wrote:  "I learned and practiced Tai Chi Yang Long form every day, remembering Master Jou Tsung Hwa's path that Tai Chi can open the spirit to higher dimensions.  When practiced as meditation, reaching even beyond the physical sequence is possible."

Today I practiced Tai Chi and loved getting lost in the form, surrounded by Irish folk music "as fair as the daughters of Erin."

 Enya,Irish music and beyond.
Irish Folk Music, various sources

Jou, Tsung Hwa. Tai Chi teacher and author. Thank you for all you teach us.
The Dao of Taijiquan, Way of Rejuvenation

Chessie with Shamrocks, photo by Dahlis Roy