St. Patrick, Take the Wheel

St Pat at Downpatrick

Saints seed the pathway for us that leads within, so that we can follow the flowering back out again.  We come out carrying armfuls of roses and shamrocks to be shared.  The lives of the saints: each one a story that urges us to grow and to give.

Saint Patrick was a slave for six years, in a land he would one day serve.  He endured his hardships with faith, saying, “I felt no hurt from the snow or ice or rain.”  How did he get there?  How did he feel no hurt?  A scant flurry sent me sliding all over the road.  Cursing and over-correcting my steering, out of control in every way.

And he was talking about actual weather events through which he slaved.  I am talking about slight situations concerning the Small Business Administration.  Resubmitting and re-verifying for reconsideration, all things I’ve done before and could do again with a few calls or clicks—in an insulated indoor area.  Send, send, send, send, done.

Sure, my tolerance has increased.  What Irish folk call a “soft” day is certifiably crappy in any other country.  Similarly, 106 of the past 107 days since Superstorm Sandy would have sucked according to my old standards—but many of them, surprisingly, were merely “soft.”  After such a series of crappy days, they start to become tolerable—even enjoyable.  There are moments I feel no hurt from snow or ice or rain.

But St. Patrick—he lived this way.  It seems impossible.  He felt so little hurt that he ceased to be concerned with his own need for comfort.  Where else to turn when you no longer gaze inward?  Upward and outward!  Every storm is a sign that becomes a message.  Submit and resubmit; send, send, send, send, send.

There are moments since this storm—again, moments—when I get so tired of worrying about my own physical and financial comfort, that I am overtaken by a forceful compulsion to connect and convert others to our cause here in Long Beach.  In these moments I do not need a home.   I could carve a staff from some splintered boardwalk plank and wander, like Patrick, across this forgotten land and help people.

St Pat's bed 2St Pat poses


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