We were up in sunny Syracuse, NY, this past weekend for the wedding of two of Rebecca's college pals: Rufus and Sara.
Sara's maiden name is McVicker's, and Friday night it became McDowell. Not much of a cultural leap, huh? A bagpiper met us at the church and greeted everyone with a few jigs and airs as we filed in; the Guinness was flowing at the reception; and there was a live band called Kilrush who fiddled, piped, and played through the night a whole host of classic tunes; in the midst of which by the way, a trio of Irish step dancers exploded, feet dancing like flames, legs flipping up like swords. It was grand, as they say. Grand!
It got me reflectin' on me own Irish roots. Our music alone is a noble heritage. Somehow it just slips in, bypassing the reason and awakening the heart, taking hold of the spirit and reorienting it. Irish music stirs us from our slumber with mournful whistles in distant airs, coaxing us to look up, to taste that World beyond the Green Hills and the Shimmering Seas.
And even in the midst of this world, with all of its 'troubles," there are jigs and reels to give us rapture; the grace to keep moving; to leap, to jump, to move to the music that made the world, pounding out in our daily lives the rhythm of the saints.
I hear it in the Chieftains, and Liam Clancy, Christie Moore, and Solas. In the melodies of Seamus Egan, the siren songs of Karen Casey, and the poem-hymns of Tommy Makem.
Rufus and Sara, thanks for the music! May it keep your spirits high and strong as you continue on the one road, sharing the one load, in a grace-filled married life! And may you see around you in the music of every day life, stepping stones to higher places. Slainte!
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