This is a very famous Irish Blessing, that we Irish, all know off by heart, that you will find printed on souvenir tea towels and plaques the world over. It's the one that readily comes to mind on 'soft days' to counteract a downpour or if you are bidding farewell to a loved one going on a journey. Attributed to Saint Patrick it also harks back to our pagan ancestors, who envoked earth, wind, water and fire in their Celtic ceremonies. It is often recited at weddings, funerals and christenings, sometimes even sung, as the hymn St Patrick's Breastplate. Have a listen to Dean Malcolm Young bestowing it as a Celtic Blessing to one of my Ireland's Hidden Gems Tours groups at Drumcliff Church, it's very special, Susan Byron.
An Irish Blessing.....(the words)
"May the road rise to meet you,
and the wind always be at your back.
May the sun shine warm on your face
and the rains fall softly on your fields.
And until we meet again
May God hold you gently in the palm of his hand.
And a less reverend one...
"May you be in Heaven, a full half hour before the devil knows you are dead!"
Another way we have of 'shortening the road' is to tell stories and the Irish are great, great story tellers. We are well known for never letting the truth get in the way of a good story! Although we all have the 'talking' gene we have specialised story tellers called seannachaí like Eddie Lenihan and if you ever get a chance to listen in on one of his sessions, don't miss out. Here's Eddie telling the Tale of the Black Dog, Susan