93. Nannie’s Fun Facts! (22)

J.M.J.

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 Hello, my Friend! Nannie here !

Imaginatin’ lends a whole new fun way of thinkin’, when you begin to think of it as drawing from “mem’ries that go back…far…and deep…”  or “…delvin’ deep in memory.”

“Perhaps the beauty that we see

       Strikes a deep chord of memory…”

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Seems to me that many of us would be quick to say that a lovely sunset, or a starry night, or gazing at the ocean is something that moves us in a way that’s different and powerful…Could be possible that our reaction is one of being moved and stirred inside to something that is within us and not just outside of ourselves? Hmmm…sounds vague, but still I feel that many of you may have a thought of what I mean. Even these beautiful sights of Ireland…it’s like they reach right inside you and find a familiar home…and give you a great and deep comfort or joy.

2280b …the western sea

1382a …view from the Black Fort on Inis Mór

126-338a …Galway Bay

DSC03209 …the western sea

1391a …the ancient ruins of Dun Aengus on Inis Mór of the Aran Islands

Dun Aengus on Inis Mór of the Aran Islands

The ancient ruins of Black Fort on Inis Mór of the Aran Islands

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Inis Mór

1370a …the Cliffs of Moher

The ancient sites in Ireland speak for themselves with a mystical language all their own.

     57-2258   504           The Giant’s Causeway on the north coast of Ireland

2018   2023 Newgrange, a structure from the Stone Age in the Boyne Valley of Ireland, estimated to be over 5,000 years old.

 187  …The Hill of Tara was once “the ancient seat of  the high kings of Ireland.”  (www.mythicalireland.com)

So much of their stories are left to our “imaginatin’!” Which brings us to the amazin’ story of Tir na n’Og…there’s a beautiful poem written by Gerald Griffin…”Hy-Brasail — The Isle of the Blest”…

“Men thought it a region of sunshine and rest.

And they called it Hy-Brysail, the isle of the blest.”

Mr. Griffin goes on to say it “looked like an Eden, away, far away!”

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Another poem by Ethna Carbery (who is Anna MacManus, wife of Seumas MacManus of Donegal) is named “I-Breasil.” Ethna speaks of “the mystical land” with all the wonderful and beautiful things found there.

“Forgotten of men, in a rose-rim set,

I’Breasil shines like a beckoning star.”

Michael Dames in his Mythic Ireland, simply says, “It was believed to lie off the south-west of Connacht, and was named after Bres, the son of Ériu…Consequently ‘Bresil” was a magic realm, neither sea nor land, yet both.” And…”Brazil, South America, was named after it!…In the early twentieth century Aran Islanders in Galway Bay continued to believe that their Brazil was visible once every seven years. They called it The Great Land…To earlier generation the Brazil mirage was also know as the Isle of the Living, the Isle of Truth, of Joy, of Fair Women, and of Apples.”

Seumas Mac Manus in The Story of the Irish Race, tells us that “The Irish scholar O’Flaherty in 1684 in his ‘Iar Connacht’ says ‘There is now living Morrogh O’Ley, who imagines he was himself personally in O’Brazil (Tir na n’Og).”

Black’s Guide to Ireland tells us…”The poet Moore wrote…

…when the western wave grews bright,

With daylight’s parting wing.

Have sought that Eden in its light,

Which dreaming poet’s sing.”

It goes on to tell us that ” – Beaufort, in his ancient topography of Ireland, writes       – ‘The inhabitants of (Inis Mór) are still persuaded that, in a clear day, they can see from this coast Hy-Brysail (Tir na nOg), or… the Enchanted Island’…”

Seumas MacManus tell us the same… “For that enchanted land (the Land of Promise, the Isle of the Blessed, or the Land of Perpetual Youth) did not fade away before the light of Christianity. Even to many of the spiritual-minded, present-day dwellers on the Western margin of Ireland, Tir na n’Og or I-Breasil, exists under the sea, just at the horizon’s rim. Some rarely blessed people still alive, have, on occasion, seen it on a beautiful summer’s eve rise over the sea, in all its intoxicating, indescribable, beauty.”

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The New Advent Catholic Encyclopedia tells us that “..he (St. Albert the Great) alluded to the commonly received idea that another island…existed in the Western Ocean…”

Seumas MacManus also tells us that “The voyage of St. Brendan, too, was in search of this Land of Promise.” (The Story of the Irish Race)

 0210161849-1.Map-Abraham Ortelius, 1592  Copyright:  Public Domain

Going back to Michael Dames Mythic Ireland saying …”Brazil, South America, was named after it!…  There is an article at http://www.historyireland.com, “An Island Called Brazil,” written by Geraldo Cantarino, a Brazilian journalist, which stands up for the possibility that the name of the county of Brazil is Irish in origin.

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 Our last fun fact leads us to http://www.libraryireland.com!  If you would like to read more about the belief in Tir na n’Og, go to the libraryireland website and look for the work of James Bostwick, Irish Druids and Old Irish religions (1894)…”The Future Life or Land of the West.”  This is a wonderful article and it’s jammed with comparisons to other stories that speak of a place similar to our Tir na n’Og.

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God bless you and thank you for visiting Finney and me!

 

92. Imaginatin’!

J.M.J.

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Hello, my Friend!  Hello today!

I hope you are in a good way!

No matter rain, sleet, snow, or shine,

I always hope your day is fine!

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Thousands of years are like a day

For Leprechauns, for we can say

That God helps us to long-ly keep

Mem’ries that go back…far…and deep…

Imaginatin’ for us be

Just delvin’ deep in memory.

So many grand tales have been told…

Has been this way since days of old…

Let’s start to talk of this today,

But let’s talk in a special way…

Let’s talk of things beyond our “real…”

Things we might say, we kind of “feel…”

But real and feel don’t quite say right,

When we are talkin’  “Heaven’s Light.”

There are some things within our minds

Not so made up as other kinds

Of things that we just somehow know…

Just hard to figure…how they show.

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Perhaps the beauty that we see

Strikes a deep chord of memory…

We, Leprechauns, know this is true.

Things old for us seem new to you!

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 This long mem’ry of times of old…

It helps us know more than we’ve told.

We’ve been around so very long…

To think we don’t know would be wrong.

Some well true history has been lost,

Makes time’s passing,  such a great cost.

Some true events are legends now,

And then called fables…not sure how.

So, what I say cannot be said,

To be made up inside my head!

I, Finney, tell you…is not so…

‘Cause we, Leprechauns…we just know…

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A good example’s Tir na n’Og…

Tale’s not made up by some old rogue…

So many think it’s just a tale…

Some say its name is Hy-Brasail*.

Some other names it’s known by, too.

I, Finney, will name just a few…

I-Breasil**, Hy-Brasil, Bresil***,

O’Brazil**** and even Brazil***!

The Poet Moore gives us some “sight”…

Telling of “Eden in its Light.”*****

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You say, “What is this special place?”

 …whose mem’ry time does not erase?

Some say ’tis in the western sea,

And underneath the waves it be…****

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It comes and goes, as some do say,

Though never sure on just what day…

Seems seven years that it may take,***

Before it rises…waves to break.

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Once there did fly a great white horse,

Across the sea…west was the course…*1

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Why did this horse fly to the West?

To get to this Isle of the Blest!*

Also some call it the Great Land.***

‘Tis sure it is so very grand!

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‘Tis Paradise**** to many minds,

With beauty visions of all kinds!

Soft flowers bloom like none you’ve seen.

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There are no greener fields of green.

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The air holds song like none you’ve heard…

As if  ’twas sung by a Queen Bird.

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 The gentle splash of water, cool,

Sparkles rainbow, just like a jewel.

The ground just never hurts your feet,

And tasty grand’s the fruit to eat!

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The breezes blow with sweet fragrance,

And night time skies show stars that dance!

We, Leprechauns, though, this we know,

‘Tis rarely to this Land we go.

No mystery, though, this Land is so,

No matter if it might not show.

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To do our sacred work we must,

As God has given us this trust.

No work like ours to do when there,

‘Cause to steal gold, no one does care.

Just kindness, care, and gentle peace,

Are what you find here…does not cease.

This is a land made long ago,

Whose mem’ry lives within us…know.

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And when we now see fine grand things…

And hear sounds like when beauty rings…

‘Tis just what was once that we sense…

Our sight’s now dulled by “fog” that’s dense.

Eden’s beauty once was ours…

All its trees, sea, air, and flowers.

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Just everything was good and fine,

‘Twas crafted by God’s Hand, Divine.

Just know that God has even more

Amazin’ beauty that’s in store,

When Eden once more rises high

And no one will then ever die!

We’ll all just want to sing and dance

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And share our joy at every chance!

There’ll be no sickness…nothing bad…

And we’ll never be feelin’ sad.

And we will all just laugh and play,

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And be in Peace for every day!

I am so glad we talked today!

God bless you is what I do say!

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Note from Nannie!

Today is the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes!

Our Blessed Mother Mary is the Golden Rose, Queen of Ireland!

Immaculate Heart of Mary, please pray for each of us!

Sacred Heart of Jesus, please bless each of us!

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Happy Feast Day of our Queen of Heaven and Earth, all the Angels, and the Saints!

And thank you for visiting Finney and Me!

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*1Wilkinson and Philip – Mythology

*Griffin, Gerald – “The Isle of the Blest” and http://www.irelandof the welcomes.com [Oisín and Niamh – “the fine white horsegalloped across silver seas into (Tir na nOg).]

**Carbery, Ethna – “I Breasil”  (Ethna Carbery is Anna MacManus, wife of Seumas MacManus of Donegal);   also MacManus, Seumas – The Story of the Irish Race

***Dames, Michael – Mythic Ireland

****MacManus, Seumas – The Story of the Irish Race

*****Black’s Guide to Ireland

******Map – Abraham Ortelius, 1592  Copyright:  Public Domain

91. Nannie’s Fun Facts! (21)

 J.M.J.

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Hello, my Friend!  Nannie here!

Well…our little Finney was just hidin’ and hidin’ on us!

I guess if there is one thing most of us have heard about leprechauns, it is that they seem to always have someone chasing after them to catch them and steal their gold!

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Our Finney knows that we would never do that to him, but would certainly try to help him in every way we can!

Let’s try to help him by doing as he asks us…

                        “just clap your (our) hands or make some noise,

                        or help me (him) find some fine grand toys”

that he could hide behind!

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Or we could

                        “just begin to talk or to sing, so no one could see anything

                        of where I(he) was or where I(he’d) be

                        so that just no one could see me(him)!”

My goodness, we have our work cut out for us trying to help little Finney and keep him safe and free from being a victim of gold-thievery!!!

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But we are not the only ones who try to help Finney and his fellow Leprechauns!

In an article from November, 2015, by Bernie Malone, at http://www.irishcentral.com,

“Leprechauns Are Protected Under European Law,” we continue to read that…”Leprechauns, or little people, and their heritage are protected on a European directive (European Habitats Directive – 2009) thanks to a group of lobbyists from Carlingford, Co. Louth…The directive was part of an effort to preserve the rich bio-diversity of the area called ‘The Sliabh Foy Loop,’ now a protected area for flora, fauna, wild animals and leprechauns.”  It goes on to say, “It is a long, detailed procedure and it has taken nearly eight years to secure the future of our heritage, culture and folklore.  We are delighted in the knowledge that our little people will be protected from extinction and allowed to thrive on the mountains,” local man Kevin Woods said of the directive, in 2011.

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There are also two youtube.com videos about the Carlingford leprechauns, about 2 1/2 minutes long, which are well worth the watch!  The previously mentioned Mr. Kevin Woods, who identifies himself as a Leprechaun Whisperer (the only one left in Ireland!) explains he has dedicated his life to the preservation of the lives of the 236 leprechauns left in Ireland.  Mr. Woods explains that there were vast numbers of them once, so great care must be given to help the remaining 236 survive.

Just go to http://www.youtube.com, and type Carlingford leprechauns in the search bar, and you will be in for a few minutes of the lighter side of life!

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One more very fine thing to mention is that, a few days ago, on February 1st, was (and is!) the Feast of the grand and revered St. Brigid! Information about St. Brigid can be found at catholic.org.  This text at this website tells us that Brigid lived in the late 5th century and early 6th century, and that she is the patron of Ireland, dairymaids, cattle, midwives, Irish nuns, and newborn babies!

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“Many stores of Brigid’s purity followed her childhood.  She was unable to keep from feeding the poor and healing them.”  This text also tells us that”…she founded a monastery in Kildare, called the Church of the Oak…Brigid invited a hermit called Conleth to help her in Kildare as a spiritual pastor…She later founded a school of art that included metalwork and illumination, which Conleth led as well.  It was at this school that the Book of Kildare, which the Gerald of Wales praised as ‘the work of angelic, and not human skill,’ was beautifully illuminated, but was lost three centuries ago.”  Lastly, from this text, “There is evidence that Brigid was a good friend of Saint Patrick’s and the the Trias Thaumaturga (book about the three wonder-working saints of Ireland…Patrick, Brigid and Columba) claimed, ‘Between St. Patrick and Brigid, the pillars of the Irish people, there was so great a friendship of charity that they had but one heart and one mind.  Through him and through her, Christ performed many great works.’…she passed away on February 1, 525.”

I have a very amusing personal story of St. Brigid, and what I call a gesture of her friendship extended to me!  I am thinking that if you are reading this you are either Irish or love things-Irish.  So, having said that, I will tell you this story hoping you will use your Irish Faith in God, your mind, and your heart as you read this little story from the Irish Faith-filled mind and heart (mine!) of an Irish American girl born and brought up in New York!  I think then you will understand why I feel St. Brigid extended her friendship to me…  For many years now, I have been “writing” a book about Irish things…similar to the Posts at this site that I call “Nannie’s Fun Facts.”  Well, this one night (May of 2012), I was working on my piece about St. Brigid…and I finished quite late.  But my mind was full of her as the patroness of dairy workers, her cows, and her love of beer! [In the writings of Peig Sayers*, there is a prayer (attributed to a Gaelic poet of the Middle Ages) associated with Brigid and a desire for beer in the next life with the King of Kings!] So, after I had finished writing, I was so tired, but didn’t I check the news, online, before I go to bed…don’t usually do that before I turn in, but this night I did.  So don’t I see headlines from an article about cows who crashed a back yard food and beer party!  Whaaat?!  The policeman who came to “the scene of the crime,” is quoted as saying, “The cows chased them (group of young adults) away from the table they were sitting at and started drinking their beers.  They knocked the beer cans over with their noses and started drinking beer right off the table.” (The policeman said it even appeared that they preferred one brand of beer over another!)

So, what could this be all about?   Are we speaking of descendants of the cows of St. Brigid herself?  And such peculiar timing that I would see this in the news on the night I had just been working on St. Brigid!  Seems to me, it could fall in the category of a possible “Hi from our good Brigid in Heaven!”

“…One of the traditional rituals in Ireland to celebrate the beginning of early spring, February 1st (the Feast of St. Brigid) is making a St. Brigid’s Cross (made of rushes woven together).                                                                                      (www.saintbridget.com)

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The beautiful St. Brigid’s Cross

(courtesy of Betsey Towne)

Just to finish with a last fun thought about our Brigid…I felt the need to look into this “beer-drinking cows” situation and found that they were a certain type of cow called belted galloways.  So…I looked for some Irish connection, and found that this type of cow is, indeed, raised in Ireland, and there are herds all over the country…and one of the most notable herds lives in…Co. Kildare!  Yup, just like our Brigid! And…here is a portion of a pic that was generously provided to me by the policeman who took it!

0205161422-1aHere are 2 of the six party-ing cows enjoying the beer remnant!

God bless you and thank you for visiting Finney and me!

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*Peig Sayers – An Old Woman’s Reflections

90. Findin’ Me!

 J.M.J.

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Hello, my Friend!  Hello today!

I hope you are in a good way!

No matter, rain, sleet, snow, or shine,

I always hope your day is fine!

I think if you look careful-ly,

My fine green hat you just may see,

Behind the rock, above…that’s Me!

The forest…near…is where I be!

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The forest is a lovely place!

I, Finney, there, can hide my face!

Sometimes when to hide, there’s a need,

I’m able to…with such great speed!

Grand trees, and rocks, and caves are there,

And tunnels are most everywhere!

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A lake and river are there, too,

And not too far from the sea, blue!

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The trees protect me…hide me well

And where I am they’ll never tell.

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We  Leprechauns, we know just when

One of us needs some help and then

We work together, side by side,

No matter inside or outside!

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You are my Friend.  I know ’tis true.

So I can speak of this to you.

Sometimes I know that I must hide.

Sometimes inside…sometimes outside.

151-32-0202161000a It happens when someone comes by,

That I don’t know…I don’t say hi.

I must be wise.  I must take care.

‘Cause I don’t know why they be there!

Sometimes, flowers…they hide me, too,

When I jump in them…hide from view!

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I must protect my treasure…gold.

‘Tis been that way since days of old!

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A Leprechaun can hide quite well.

‘Tis of just this that I will tell.

The reason be because I hope,

That you might try to help me cope,

If someone tries hard to catch me,

And you are there and you can see,

That this is happening right when

You might just be able to then

Just clap your hands or make some noise,

Or help me find some fine grand toys,

That I could hide behind so that

Noone could see me or my hat!

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 I can’t say that I have no fear,

Because when strangers get too near,

I know I need to get away…

And often hide rest of the day!

I have to also make sure, too,

That I don’t lose my hat or shoe!

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This to happen would not be wise…

Not hard to see they are my size!

Some folks might guess that I am near!

And that would give me cause to fear

That some folks might try to catch me,

If any part of me they see!

And then they might look for the gold,

Just like’s been done in days of old!

To tell you this might help you know

Why I try so hard not to show

Meself or my grand suit of green…

Though ’tis as grand as any seen!

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 I think that you might understand,

Why help to me would be just grand,

And always I would say thank you,

Because it would be right to do.

 I’d thank you for your help to me,

And then I’d stay where none could see…

Or follow me right to the gold,

That we protect…since days of old!

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 Sometimes I could not even play,

The way we like at end of day.

‘Tis more important that we know

That our gold treasure doesn’t show!

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To keep it safe…to try…we must…

Because this is our sacred trust.

And if you give your help to me…

Then it would be so hard to see

Where I might hide to get away…

And this could happen any day!

 So if I need help and you’re there,

Maybe I’ll run behind a chair,

While you begin to talk or sing,

So no one could see anything

Of where I was or where I be

So that just no one could see me!

If I could and I was able,

I could run under a table!

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 Or maybe I could find a shelf

Where some grand books could hide meself!

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 Sometimes a pillow does the trick,

If no part of me does, out, stick!

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 When I do have my red scarf on,

After I try hard to be gone…

I must take care to hide it well…

To hide with me so none can tell,

That maybe Finney’s over “there”…

Hidin’…hidin’…hidin’ somewhere…

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Thank you for letting me tell you,

About something …maybe you knew…

That I just might need help to run

Somewhere and hide…not always fun.

But if you help me in this way,

I would be safe most any day!

I would be safe to guard the gold,

Just like it’s been since days of old.

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We Leprechauns count on our Friends,

That in our lives we know God sends.

And He wants us to be Friends, too!

I, Finney, want to be to you,

A good Friend who can help in ways,

At different times during life’s days.

I am so glad we talked today!

God bless you is what I do say!

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89. Nannie’s Fun Facts! (20)

J.M.J.

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Hello, my Friend!  Nannie here!

What does Finney mean when he says…

” We didn’t get to how we can

Just hear, and feel, and sense it when

Colors come to us in these ways,

At certain times in certain days…

Let us be sure we talk again

Of rainbow’s colors…how they can

Be real to us though we don’t “see…”

Let’s just keep this ‘tween you and me…”

The concept of color is so way far beyond seeing a simple rainbow!  And when I say simple, I don’t really mean “simple”…I just mean at least the colors are right there…organized…When God gave the earth the rainbow after the Flood, we know this was the sign He promised that the world would never again be destroyed by water…  “This is the sign that I am giving for all ages to come, of the covenant between me and you and every living creature with you:  I set my bow in the clouds to serve as a sign of the covenant between me and the earth.  When I bring clouds over the earth, and the bow appears in the clouds, I will recall the covenant I have made between me and you and all living beings, so that the waters shall never again become a flood to destroy all mortal beings…”  This is what God told Noah…  (Genesis 9: 12-17)

I once heard it said that God uses the natural to draw us to the supernatural. I love the wording…

Boy oh boy, a rainbow is sure a good example of that!  A rainbow can help us envision a true “bridge” to heaven…can help us with our imaginatin’s…as Finney would say!  What better place for the “golden treasure” than at the “end of the rainbow?”  Think of the wonderful song “Somewhere Over the Rainbow!”

In the early mornin’, the sunrise can bring with it so many palettes of color…”sky blue pink” is one of my favorites!  It seems like such a grand way for God to say, “Top o’ the Mornin’ to ye!”

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But let’s get back to a little talkin’ about color…think for a minute about how we say things like…”makes me see red”…”green with envy”…”purple with anger.”  They are just simple references to accepted phrases that we all understand, but color is used in a defining way to communicate intangibles.  And think about music we hear…does loud, bombastic music make us think of blue?  I don’t think so…probably red…right?  Or does sweet mellow music make you think orange?  Or maybe blue/green…do you agree?  Or maybe pale yellow?  I don’t know.  Maybe we would all have different answers to this…or maybe similar.  The point is we are relating to color to help us define how we respond to different things.  Think also about the why of the colors we love and choose for our homes, our clothing…fun to give a few thoughts to these things.                                     How about those devices that can tell where there is warmth…the “warmer colors”…red, orange, yellow.  Coolness does not register, but warmth and life do.

Check out this picture of an oil spill…the colors even seem to be in the “right” rainbow order.. 1230151003

Lack of color is not really much fun.  Finney certainly loves color… flowers, sea, sky, plants, food…

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Now going to our Dr. Joyce and his Smaller Social History of Ancient Ireland…Dr. Joyce tells us that “The ancient Irish loved bright colours.  In this respect they resembled many other nations of antiquity – as well indeed as of the present day…  ‘Whenever men are noble they love bright colour,…and bright colour is given to them in sky, sea, flowers, and living creatures.’  The Irish love of colour expressed itself in all parts of their raiment:  and…they well understood the art of dyeing.

0130161255-1-1  This is a building on the island of Inis Mór of the Aran Islands!

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This is part of a poster called “Doors of Ireland!”

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Everywhere in our ancient literature we find dress-colours mentioned.  In the Ulster army, as described in the Tain, was one company with various-coloured mantles: – ‘some with red cloaks;  others with light blue cloaks;  others with deep blue cloaks; others with green, or blay*, or white, or yellow cloaks, bright and fluttering about them:  and there is a young red-freckled lad, with a crimson cloak in their midst.’  Any number of such quotations might be given.”

Dr. Joyce also tells us “We are told in our legendary history that exact regulations for the wearing of colours by the different ranks of people were made by King Tigernmas (Teernmas) and by his successor, many centuries before the Christian era: – a slave was to be dressed clothes of one colour; a peasant or farmer in two, and so on up to a king and queen and an ollave of any sort;  all of whom were privileged to wear six.”

John O’Hart in the Origin and Stem of the Irish Nation also mentions King Tigernmas.  Mr. O’Hart places the life of Tigernmas in the time frame of 1500-1600 years Before Christ.  In regards to the regulations of colour-wearing, he says that ” the clothes of a slave should be of one color;  those of a soldier of two;  the dress of a commanding officer to be of three colours;  a gentleman’s dress, who kept a table for the free entertainment of strangers, to be of four colours;  five colours to be allowed to the nobility (the chiefs); and the King, Queen, and Royal Family, as well as the Druids, historians, and other learned men to wear six colours.

Fr. John Sullivan speaks of the colors of the priests’ vestments for Mass…the white and gold (celebratory), the red (fire and blood), green (hope), purple-violet (expressive of penance and sometimes sorrow)…the rose color was not always used, but has been inserted (encouragement/refreshment).

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A beautiful rose of Tralee!

Dr. Joyce also says, “At the present day green is universally regarded as the national color;  but this is a very modern innovation, and as a matter of fact the ancient Irish had no national colour.”  Of course, we all know that in the present day, green practically = Irish…But we’ll talk about that more when we get nearer to the grand Feast of our great St. Patrick!

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So, think about the “colors” in your life…what they mean to you, and, if you can, why they mean something to you.  I love thinking about the comment mentioned earlier of how God uses the natural to lead us to the supernatural.  Just fun to think a bit about…

God bless you and thank you for visiting Finney and me!

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*blay – did not know what this represented…thefreedictionary.com says it is an adjective for Irish unbleached…and Merriam-Webster.com gives it a meaning of “bleak.”

88. Colorin’s!

 J.M.J.

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Hello, my Friend !  Hello today!

I hope you are in a good way!

No matter rain, sleet, snow, or shine,

I always hope your day is fine!

After the time of the great Flood,

I’m sure there was a lot of mud!

But God gave us a grand rainbow!

He did this so that He could show

A great, grand and wonderful sign

That from flood waters we’d be fine.

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Do we think, though, that what was seen

Was…COLOR…like our fields of green,

And roses red…orange…yellow…

Some colors of the grand rainbow…

Like flowers…water…skies of blue…

And lovely buds of violet hue.

But that’s not all…let’s think a bit…

Let’s think of  RED…like fire lit…

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Like those red roses… sweet fragrance…

Like cardinal birds we see by chance…

Like apples, berries, mornin’ sun…

There’s lots to say before we’re done

Speaking of reds and where they are…

Just where to find them…near and far.

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…Mittens and hat for my small head…

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 …little legs with fine stripes of red…

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…grand warm socks…my Cork tartan, best!

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…the red on Uncle Obie’s vest!

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…like berries that grow on the trees,

 And also leaves that change with ease.

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Also the berries Holly shows,

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And yet another grand red rose!

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Christmas reds for decoratin’

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Add much to anticipatin’,

Jesus’ birth’s Grand Proclamation…

Flowers red, help adoration

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As with joyful exclamation,

We love Christmas celebration!

…Finney’s Lantern and the red door

Of the cottage on Inis Mór…

 With Finney’s scarf… pillow…flowers…

We could think of reds for hours!

I’ll just show you my own red door…

And then I’ll speak of red no more…  😉

Sometimes I live inside a tree,

And here I am…Can you see me?

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Now ORANGE, too, is fun to see

In fire, too, just like red be!

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 In sunsets, too, and basketballs…

In many flowers…talls and smalls!

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 To speak of orange, we’ll take care

To ALWAYS mention…Finney’s hair!

And also, of course, we will say

That Finney’s Family…every day…

They each show off an orange-do,

That some can see…like me and you!

…a snowman’s orange carrot nose

…a candle’s light gives orange glows

…Pumpkins in Fall, leaves from some trees,

…Orange clouds that everyone sees

…Bright orange skies span far and wide

As we see sunset skies outside,

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Bathing the duckies with soft light,

As they do swim right in our sight!

…Dear Poochie Finney’s orange toy

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 As Finney’s by his little boy.

…Robin’s sometimes more orange breast,

…St. Pat’s hat looks like orange zest!

Christmas decorations – like red…

They come in orange, too…’tis said…

The orange glow from fire’s place,

Can dance upon a nearby face!

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Even if Finney hides his head,

Or has a cover on in bed,

Orange color finds ways to show,

Just like for flowers that do grow!

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For Yellow color, ’tis the same,

Though it does go by yellow’s name.

Some leaves…sunrises…pots o’ gold…

And sunsets, just like days of old.

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3-274 Wonderful light and gold’s grand glow,

Are all provided by yellow!

 And, of course, yellow flowers all…

For much attention, they do call!

 Their lovely color speaks of good…

Like warmth and worth and sun’s shine should…

And, now, it’s time to speak of  GREEN!

So easy to describe its scene…

On plants and branches of the trees,

We see so many different leaves!

In lovely fields with shamrock plants,

Green adds beauty to homes of…ants!  😉

We may see a grand bird of green,

But more than not, ’tis a plant’s scene.

A color of hope, green is there…

To uplift flowers…green takes care

That trees and leaves are not left out,

While flowers bloom and beauty shout

To all the world that they are here…

But always…always…green is near!

Now we have the color called BLUE!

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So often ’twill be the sky’s hue…

Or maybe ocean water… lake…

Where we might, a fine swim, just take!

A small hand loves blue water, too,

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And blue stained glass, Sun shines bright through!

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And ’tis the color mostly giv’n,

To Mother Mary, Queen of Heav’n.

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A rainbow blanket will have blue…

And some dark berries are blue, too.

Some morning glories look like sky,

Even when closed…when day’s gone by…

My gosh, I’ve had so much to tell…

I hope that I have spoken well.

But still we have two more to go…

After blue, we have INDIGO!

But I, Finney, am tired now,

And to finish…I’m not sure how!

But please be sure I’ll try my best,

For Rainbow’s tale…to tell the rest…

VIOLET comes after indigo…

But the blue still just seems to show…

After blue …before violet’s there,

Indigo’s just in there…somewhere…

_DSC4014I do not know what more to say,

So maybe what is the best way

Is to show you grand darks and lights

Of violet shades…some lovely sights!

 I am so tired…have to sleep!

Don’t worry I won’t make a peep…

Seems like there’s so much more to say…

We’ll get to it another day…

We didn’t get to how we can

Just hear, and feel, and sense it when

Colors come to us in these ways,

At certain times in certain days…

Let us be sure we talk again

Of rainbow’s colors…how they can

Be real to us though we don’t “see…”

Let’s just keep this ‘tween you and me…

But I’m so glad we talked today…

God bless you is what I do say!

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87. Nannie’s Fun Facts! (19)

J.M.J.

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 Hello, my Friend!  Nannie here!

Finney loves to talk about the Seasons!  He speaks of them, however, as we know them now…Winter, Spring, Summer, and Fall.  He loves watching the quieting of the Earth’s growing during the wintertime…and especially loooves Christmastime!

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But when Winter eases away and Spring begins to announce itself, Finney is very excited about the “life” that seems to begin again as grass gets greener and new little plants begin to show themselves!

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 And when Summer blasts upon the scene with growth and budding and blooming and springtime newborns getting used to their legs…why it is just so exhilarating…

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And, then, of course, when Summer simmers down and harvest time comes and leaves start to change, Finney knows that time’s coming to cozy up by the hearth and celebrate the fruits of the Earth and thank God for it all!  Knowing that Christmas is not far away…again…the cycle of Seasons just keeps going…

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Again we go to http://www.libraryireland.com to learn from Dr. Patrick Joyce, an Irish historian who lived in the late nineteenth century to the early part of the twentieth century.  Dr. Joyce tells us in his A Smaller Social History of Ancient Ireland 1906 that “The Irish divided their year into quarters…

Earrach (sounds like arragh), SPRING…began on the 1st day of February

Samhradh (sounds like sowra), SUMMER…began on the 1st day May

Foghmhar (sounds like fowar), FALL…began on the 1st day of August

Geimhridh (sounds like gevre), WINTER…began on the 1st day of November.”

Dr. Joyce tells us that “We have historical testimony that festivals with games…were celebrated at the beginning of Summer, Autumn (Fall), and Winter; but we have no account of any such celebrations at the beginning Spring.”

The 1st of February, the beginning of Spring, was called Oimelc, signifying ‘ ewe-milk,’ for that is the time when sheep’s milk comes…It is now known as ‘St. Brigit’s festival.’ …The 1st of May, the beginning of Summer, was called “Belltaine or Beltene (sounds like beltina)…still always used by speakers of Irish.”

The 1st of  August, the beginning of Autumn, was, and is still, called Lugnasad (sounds like Loonasa).” This day is named for the “Dedannan King Lug (sounds like loo) of the Long Arms…The 1st of November, the beginning of Winter, was called Samain or Samhuin (sounds like sowin).”

Finally, Dr. Joyce tells us that “The ancient Irish counted time rather by nights than by days.  Thus in the Life of St. Fechin we are told: – ‘Moses was forty nights on Mount Sinai without drink, without food.’  In coupling together day and night they always put the night first:  in other words, the night belonging to any particular day was the night preceding;  so that what they called Sunday night was the same as Saturday night with us.”

It’s a nice bonus that Dr. Joyce often gives us pronunciations of the Irish words that would certainly be hard for any of us who have not had the blessing of hearing Irish spoken in our homes.  My Dad (David of Cobh, Co. Cork) never learned Irish as a boy in Ireland because it was during the time that it was not allowed.  He was born in 1904, and was baptized in the grand St. Colman’s Cathedral!  The following three pictures are St. Colman’s Cathedral overlooking the grand harbor…My Dad, David (feeding the birds as they come to his hand!), and the resting place of my Family in the Old Church Cemetery in Cobh (sounds like Cove).

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In regards to pronunciations of Irish words, a wonderful website is www.talkirish.com.  So many fun Irish words are presented with an audio provision…also used in a sentence.  This is a fun way to learn some Irish!

It won’t be long now and Spring – Earrach will be in the air!

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 God bless you and thank you for stopping by to visit Finney and Me!

86. “Seasonin’s!”

J.M.J.

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Hello, my Friend !  Hello today!

I hope you are in a good way!

No matter rain, sleet, snow, or shine,

I always hope your day is fine!

 It’s not been long since it’s been warm…

But now we see some snowflakes form.

Right now it feels a bit colder,

‘Twill be warm soon… when I’m older.

After that, ’twill be cool again,

Then cold…then warm…then colder when

Spring and Summer and Fall are gone,

To let, again, winter come on!

These are the Seasons that we know!

And each has its own fine, grand show!

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Christmastime, for us, has just passed…

We would have liked for it to last

A little longer, might be nice…

But ’tis not so…for now we’ve ice

And sometimes we’ll even have snow!

What days those are, we just don’t know!

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We still sometimes see geese at rest

Before they get to a southern nest,

Where each will find the warmth they need,

As well as food with which to feed.

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We still see hawks chasing their prey…

They need to eat, still, every day.

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We also see the eagles rest,

Together in their high, safe nest.

We also see the eagles fly,

When someone’s near…they fly so high!

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We see the ducks swimming some days,

Back and forth in their own ways.

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Sometimes the seagulls…they swim, too!

Right with the ducks…Yes!  They do!

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The squirrels don’t stop runnin’ ’round,

Huntin’ to find food on the ground.

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Of course, the sheep with wool so thick,

If given choice would surely pick

To just be left alone each day,

To spend their time in their own way!

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‘Tis fun in ways, when winter’s here,

But so nice, too, when spring is near.

When time comes for Winter to go,

All the while, we always do know

That seasons change and bring good things!

like Springtime when the robin sings…

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And colors of spring flow’rs appear…

Whites…Pinks…and yellows there and here…

Reds and purples and orange, too,

Are all part of flowers’ spring view!

The air smells fine…so fresh and cool,

‘Tis fun to see the raindrops pool

In puddles to jump in and spray…

Water flyin’ ev’ry way!

The frost and cold are left behind,

And no one really seems to mind!

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 …like Summer when warm breezes blow,

Also bringin’ flowers to show!

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 The horses graze in fields so green,

And sheep relax in sunshine’s scene!

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 The birds and bees fly everywhere,

While summer’s warmth is in the air…

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Days at the beach with water’s fun…

We all miss so…when summer’s done!

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 …like Fall when time for it does come,

When blazing colored leaves come from

The branches of some fine, grand trees,

That let their leaves fall with such ease!

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 Once more the brisk, cool air returns,

And Fall, its welcome, easily earns!

Cozy fires and apples fine,

Golden leaves…a grand Fall sign!

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 Chipmunks & squirrels race to find

Good food to store of every kind!

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 So,winter, spring, summer, or fall…

‘Tis just grand if you’re tall or small!

These “Seasonin’s” we have each year,

Help us to think of Heav’n as near…

God always meant for us to see

Peeks of Heaven where’er we be!

I, Finney, always want to see,

Each day’s blessin’s God gives to me.

Something I see…something I hear…

Something that seems so fine and dear…

All that’s good comes from God, I know,

To Him, I want, my thanks, to show!

 I’m sleepy now…a nap sounds good…

But I’ll get right up when I should!

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A little while, my eyes I’ll rest,

And then I’ll try to do my best,

To do what I can help to do…

Maybe…who I help will be you!

I might be near…you just don’t see…

But never be afraid of me!

I, Finney, know that you’re my Friend,

My best to you I’ll always send!

I am so glad we talked today!

God bless you is what I do say!

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85. Nannie’s Fun Facts! (18)

 J.M.J.

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 Hello, my Friend!  Nannie here!

Well…as you can see the eminent 2nd Graders had wonderful questions for Finney.

I know that Finney hopes he answered them well.  He tried!

The questions were very smart-minded in that Leprechauns are shrouded in mystery.  Those questions were a direct hit on what little we know or have heard.

It seems as if I should mention here that my perspective is one of an Irish American, daughter of an Irish immigrant.  I was not born and raised in Ireland, so my understandings are simply that of an Irish American trying to absorb and pass on the heritage that I cherish and always want to know better and better…a wonderful and mystical heritage that is so singular and unique to we Irish, and for which I am fiercely grateful for and proud of…a heritage that I sense and feel deep within myself.

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Having said that…let us continue!

Going to one of my very favorite sources, http://www.libraryireland.com, we find references to leprechauns just as naturally as to the weather or what was served by the monks to their guests who happened to drop by.

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For example, James Bonwick, in his Irish Druids and Old Irish Religions (1894), refers matter of factly to what “hospitable neighbors” provided the Leprechauns for supper!

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St. Enda’s Cemetery (Inis Mor*, Aran Islands) where history records more than 120 Saints have been laid to rest!

Dr. Joyce, in his Smaller History of Social Ireland (1906), tells us that “the leprechauns are an ancient race in Ireland, for we find them mentioned in some of our oldest tales…”  Dr. Joyce gives us a hint, too, of his opinion of the evolvement (if that’s the right word), of how a “present day story” can draw from an actual account that may have not been exactly the same.  The example I can refer to is that Dr. Joyce tells us that in an 8th Century tale, the King of the Leprechauns had been taken captive by King Fergus Mac Leide.  The King of the Leprechauns “ransomed himself by giving him (King Fergus) a pair of magic shoes which enabled him to go under the water whenever, and for as long as, he pleased…”

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Southwest Ireland

“Dr. Joyce goes on to say that perhaps this story of the magic shoes is the original version of the present superstition that the Leprechaun is the fairies’ shoemaker.”                                    (Towne, Susanne O., Irish Food…For Thought)

So, the story just got dressed up a little.  Keeping that in mind, most any written story often has a long oral tradition that precedes it, which can account for stories with an historical basis developing into topics that many believe are just made up.

‘Tis sorrowful for those who quickly come to that conclusion, when indeed there may very well be true facts at the root of a “story”… especially in Ireland.

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The casual and persistent mention of Leprechauns in Irish culture certainly shows us how ingrained their “existence” is, with many sources having “eye-witness” accounts…Walker, Mathew, Ireland, The Island of Saints (1907); The Carlingford “Story”; Peter J. McCafferty in the Herald Star Newspaper; and the Leprechaun Museum to mention just a few!)

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 Speaking of the Leprechaun Museum…I would love to be the one to let you know that “the” Leprechaun Museum is “based in the heart of Dublin.”  And I quote from their website (www.leprechaunmuseum.ie)…”Irish people have told stories about the Leprechaun for more than a thousand years.  There are many tales about him and the people he meets…leprechauns, rainbows, and pots of gold.”

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At http://www.irishcentral.com, we learn that “In his collection of Irish fairy and folk tales, W. B. Yeats offered an 18th Century poem by William Allingham titled “The Lepracaun; Or, Fairy Shoemaker.”  It describes the tapping sound of the sprite…”  Mr. Yeats, according to http://www.yourirish.com, explains the need for shoemakers in the fairy kingdom, because they love to dance!

That same website, http://www.yourirish.com gives a pretty traditional understanding of Leprechauns with mentions of little suits, hats and buckled shoes…pots of gold, underground homes guarded by trees, and caves masked as rabbit holes…leprechauns being keen musicians who love to dance and sing…  We find talk of how Leprechauns guard their gold at http://www.ireland-now.com.

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 So, now, going back to Dr. Joyce and seemingly made up stories having roots in something true…Lady Francesca Wilde in her Ancient Legends, Mystic Charms, and Superstitions of Ireland, tells us that “it is believed by many people that the cave fairies are the remnant of the ancient Tuatha-de-Dananns who once ruled Ireland, but were conquered by the Milesians.” (hard to determine exact date–one source says around 1500 B.C. — Hart’s Origin and Stem of the Irish Nation)

The Tuatha de Danann were, simply said, possessed of “special” skills (that seemed to some as “magical”) and were “excellent in all the arts as builders, poets, and musicians… and that they lived for a very long time.”  (www.libraryireland.com)

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So, even just this small example shows how some of the “ideas” we have about Leprechauns may have come from true historical fact…combine that with a possible smaller stature and all of a sudden it seems more plausible.

Hmmm…

This sure is a lot to think about…my last thought is to quote again from the Leprechaun Museum (in Dublin) website…

The Museum attempts to give you an experience that will help you “Feel what it’s like to journey deep beneath the rocks of the Giant’s Causeway” (Northeastern Ireland) to “open up your minds to the sights and stories of Ireland’s mythical otherworld on a trip to fairy hill.  Find yourself in a leprechaun-sized world and take a journey to the end of the rainbow to see if the elusive crock of gold really exists.”  (www.leprechaunmuseum.ie)

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Of course, please keep in mind you have heard from Finney directly about all these things…   🙂

God bless you and thank you for visiting Finney and Me!

*Inis Mór

84. Hello 2G!

 J.M.J.

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Hello my Friends, hello today!

I hope you are in a good way!

No matter rain, no matter shine,

I always hope your day is fine!

Thank you, dear Friends, in Class 2G!

Thank you so much for writing me!

You’ve asked fine questions and I’ll try

To answer them…each how and why!

First question is…“How much gold do you have?”

This question is such a great one!

To answer will be so much fun!

The way it’s been since times of old,

Is for Leprechauns to hide gold.

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And this is what God asks of us,

And that’s why we don’t make a fuss.

Sometimes it’s hard to do this task,

But we do it ’cause God does ask.

The golden treasure we do hide,

‘Tis both outside…as well, inside!

You ask how much we have of gold.

‘Tis been the same from times of old.

‘Tis many pots…’tis a great deal.

We work so that no one can steal,

Any bright gold that’s in our care,

‘Cause God wants it hidden somewhere…

  1. Do you have any other leprechaun friends?

Oh, ’tis yes…the fine answer here!

I love my Friends…so, have no fear!

Some Family members are grand Friends!

We often play before day ends!

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Their names are Daíthí and Pronshi.

You say David…we say Daíthí…

You say Francis…we say Pronshi!

 Pronshi, Finney, Daíthí, …we, three!

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  1. Have you ever been to St. Clement’s School?

Yes!  This is somewhere I would go!

 But this St. Clement, I don’t know!

Is he a Friend of good St. Pat?

Could be he wears a St. Pat’s hat?

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Grand place to go…St. Clement’s School!

You all must be so very cool!

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You’ll know if I have gone your way…

You just might find gold dust one day! 

  1. Is there really gold at the end of the rainbow? 

‘Tis a good question you’ve asked me!

Not easy to answer, you see.

The reason is it’s hard to find

The rainbow’s end you have in mind.

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For Leprechauns, ’tis indeed so,

Because where gold is, we just know.

Next time a rainbow comes your way,

‘Twould be so hard, though try you may,

To get to it before it’s gone…

Not so for any Leprechaun.

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God gives to each of us the ways,

To do fine things within our days.

We’re all special… just not the same…

For Leprechauns…we’ve rainbow fame.

So, though the answer’s yes for me…

‘Tis not the same for you, you see.

This story of the rainbow’s gold,

Goes to a time in days of old.

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So, though sometimes, it could be so,

Not every time would some gold show.

So, answer’s YES!  IT COULD BE SO!

That at the end of a rainbow,

A golden treasure may be there,

Hidin’ from you…hidin’…somewhere!

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  1. How old are you?

Such a good question to ask me…

Hmmm…I wonder how old I be!

I do not know just what to say…

Time for us is a certain way.

I know that I have lived so well…

But just how long I can not tell.

We, Leprechauns, we live each day,

Doin’ our work…make time to play.

I’ve seen the moon…I’ve seen the sun…

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I have been sad…I’ve had good fun.

Me Mum cooks me such fine, grand meals;

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Me Dad helps me so no one steals

Me pot o’ gold, safe, I must keep,

Yes, even when I’m fast asleep.

I’ve Family Love and Angel friends…

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A comfy bed when the day ends.

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But there is work we do…we must!

God gave to us a special trust,

God put us here…I don’t know how…

But we do know our work is now!

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How old I am, I do not know.

My memories, though, to me, show

My life is busy ev’ry day,

And that is all I know to say! 

  1. Can you swim?

A Leprechaun must learn to swim…

A needed skill, not just a whim.

Sometimes when we move pots o’ gold,

Just like we’ve done from days of old,

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We’ll stop at some nice stream or lake,

We are so thirsty that we’ll take

Some fine, grand water and we drink…

If we fall in, we will just SINK!

So, how to swim we just must know,

For when we’re near fine water’s flow…

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We will be safe, as well, our gold,

Just like it’s been from days of old!

  1. Can you slide down rainbows?

I have to say the answer’s no…

I can not slide down a rainbow.

A rainbow’s like a colored cloud…

Gentle and quiet…never loud.

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It’s soft colors and lovely bow

Will always make for quite a show!

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And you could, through it, put your hand,

But right on top…you could not stand!

It is like mist…not like the ground…

Never hard…like some stones you’ve found.

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But, Heaven’s Light, it gives the Earth,

It’s splendid sight gives it grand worth!

And just remember what we know…

“That at the end of a rainbow,

A golden treasure MAY be there…

Hidin’ from you…hidin’ somewhere!”

  1. Can you ice skate?

Ohhh…Yes!  I do love to ice skate!

When winter comes…I just can’t wait!

I take my fine red scarf with me…

It keeps me warm when it’s frosty!

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And then I go to Slippery Lake,

Where winter’s cold, the ice, does make!

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And then I slide, and race, and jump!

I have to watch for any bump!

But even if I might just fall,

(Which happens even when you’re small!)

I just get up and start again,

And I will not stop until when

Me Mum calls me and says “Finney!

Time to come home, soon dark will be!”

Maybe some day, I’ll see you there,

At Slippery Lake which is…somewhere?”

9.Where is your pot o’ gold?

Me pot o’ gold is safe with me.

But, hidden, it must always be.

Our pots o’ gold, God asks that we

Take care of them so careful-ly.

I’m sorry I can’t tell you more,

Of what the pot o’ gold is for…

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Of where the pot o’ gold does hide,

When I am inside or outside.

Just know it is part of God’s plan,

For Joy for the Fam’ly of Man.

When time does come that all is new,

Just ask our God for what is true.

He’ll tell you all you need to know…

Of pots o’ gold and the rainbow!

  1. Where do you live?

I live in more than just one place.

I, most times, need to hide my face.

Our golden treasure can’t be seen,

Not even on our fields of green.

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We Leprechauns love our Ireland,

It gives us homes that are so grand.

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Sometimes we live under a tree…

We try to live where none can see.

Our secret doors, the trees help hide,

When we come in from the outside.

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Sometimes where rocks are all around,

Gives us a home under the ground.

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That’s probably where we live the most.

And if you go to Nannie’s post…

Where my adventures she helps write…

To bring my life into your sight,

Post Number 9 will tell you more,

Of where I live and my folklore!

Thank you so much for writing me,

Thank you for being Friends to me.

You’ll always be in my heart’s prayers,

I’ll pray for you and all your cares.

I am so glad we talked today!

God bless you is what I do say!

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Note from Nannie:

Thank you to the second graders who asked Finney these wonderful questions!

God bless you and thank you for stopping by to see Finney and Me!