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The Green of Angels

St Patrick stained glass window


Yesterday was St Patrick’s Day and I read a bit about him to my 7-turning-8-year-old daughter. Apparently Patrick was kidnapped by pirates as a teenager from his home in England. He was taken to Ireland where he worked for several years as a slave. He eventually escaped and made his way back to England. There he became a Christian and later a priest. Later he returned to Ireland to take the gospel to the country where he had been enslaved. There’s also a story about Saint Patrick driving all the snakes out of Ireland but this is apocryphal as there is no fossil evidence of there ever being any snakes in Ireland. But, hey - don't let the facts get in the way of a good story!

But whatever the background, traditionally St Patrick’s Day is a day to dress in green and I love that idea, so the whole family dressed in whatever greenish clothes we could find. Hubby was going to wear his green and black boxer shorts, which he was going to flash at anyone who asked, but fortunately we found some outerwear that would demonstrate his support of St Patrick’s Day, instead of having him undress in public.

It’s funny, out of all the colours you could wear to support a cause (orange for Anti-Bullying Awareness, red for Daniel Morecome support, pink for Breast Cancer Research, or black for a funeral, etc) I really like wearing green. Any other colour and I would feel like a paint swatch from Mitre 10… so contrived. 

Basically, I feel like green is my colour. I say it’s my favourite colour and it has featured strongly in my wardrobe over the years. It’s the colour of my eyes and the colour of my bath (which is actually meant to be white, but that’s another story about my inefficiencies in the cleaning department, which we won’t go into). But I’ve always liked green and I wonder if it has anything to do with my mother. Even my sister’s favourite colour is green! (How greedy – you’d think she could pick a different favourite colour.) But somewhere along the line, the fact that Mum’s favourite colour was green has been absorbed by our sub-conscious.

Green wasn’t just something Mum liked for the sake of it – she said it was the colour of angels. Yes, that’s right – angels. Not leprechauns or ogres, but angels. Now Mum never specified whether she thought that angels were green themselves, or if green was their favourite colour. I never asked Mum if she had ever seen an angel, and if so, whether she had quizzed the angel about colour preferences. Mum often said stuff that never made sense and somehow we just accepted her statement as those sorts of family legends that get passed on through the generations. But to cut a long story short, green holds an almost mystical place in our family. Back to my sister – sometimes she might tell me about a new skirt or a cushion she’s bought and as she describes it, she’ll say, “…and it’s green!” as if she were telling me it was covered in gold-dust from Mars.

So for St Patrick’s Day I wore green, not just for Patrick (that crazy snake-chaser), but for Mum and her communion with angels. 

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