What is it to be Irish?
To be born on a piece of earth to parents who were born on the same,
Nourished by its wind and rain?
To inherit the history
Of violence, pain and addiction?
To honor Irish ancestors,
Who created our land as it is today,
Who fought for our freedom,
Who sacrificed themselves,
For our well-being?
Is it to embrace a language
That was taken away,
That seems so difficult,
Yet resonates in our very core?
How it fills us with strength, pride and courage!
How it rolls off our tongues!
Is it to partake in a culture that was almost destroyed-
The songs of pain and glory
The songs of love and freedom
The poetry of the great ones of our land,
The art, the dance?
We were called savages,
But even the lowliest among us philosophizes,
even the poorest writes or paints
Is it to be Catholic, Protestant, pagan or druid?
The spiritual quest of the Irish has long been
Communion with nature, with each other,
With the Divine.
Is it to be funny? A drinker? A fighter?
Is it to laugh off the mockery?
Is it to not take ourselves too seriously?
Is it the adaptability we have learned,
Through famine, injustice, poverty, abuse and oppression?
Why is it important to dig into our roots?
Are we not citizens of the world?
Is it not a global economy?
Is this patriotism not outdated?
My roots are my ties to my family, my tribe
To whom I owe my life.
My roots make me who I am.
My roots sink me deep into the roots of all humanity.
For what is the deepest desire of the Irish soul?
Our history has taught us its value.
What is the deepest desire of any soul?
To be free, my friend, to be free!