Fern Ridge-Tribune News
Sweet Lorane Community News
March 17, 2022
By Pat Edwards
Today, as I sit down to write this week’s column, I notice the date—March 17—St. Patrick’s Day. This has never been a major celebration at our house, but it does bring back some memories of panicking when I realized I hadn’t worn green to work at my job at the UO. I’d scramble to make sure I had some piece of green jewelry or dig through my desk drawers to find something that was any shade of green to wear in order to uphold my Irish heritage. Oh, I don’t remember that it was taken very seriously at work, either, but it was tradition, after all!
In recent years, I’d bring home a slab of corned beef and a big head of cabbage and fix them with boiled potatoes sometime during the week, but not always on St. Patty’s Day. I never had the desire to drink green beer or pinch anyone not wearing green, but I considered it a fun, happy, holiday, regardless.
This year, however, I may or may not take the corned beef from the freezer. Right now, fun or joy seems selfish. When I think of the millions of women and children of Ukraine who have been forced out of their homes as refugees, leaving their men behind to fight for their homeland, not knowing what they will find upon their return—if they are ever able to return—and those who remained behind because they refused to leave or were not able to. They are standing their ground to defend what is rightfully theirs, but their supplies of food and water are running out as their cities are surrounded by the military forces of an unhinged Russian president. And because Vladimir Putin has reminded the world that he figuratively has his finger on the button that could release nuclear warheads, the U.S. and NATO are not able to help the people of Ukraine for fear of launching World War III.
Here at home, our political rhetoric has quieted, but there are still those wanting to point fingers and complain about the high price of gasoline when it should be a time when we need to come together, as we have so many times before, with a common goal and love of our own country in times of extreme peril.
The other day, as I was scrolling through Facebook, I noticed that a friend had shared a beautiful watercolor painting of the blue and yellow Ukraine flag surrounded by sunflowers. The message above it was just as beautiful, I felt. It was obviously written from the heart and it spoke everything that I have been feeling in a simple message. I want to share it with you here:
“Instead of complaining about the cost of things and knowing it’ll get worse, here’s a different mindset… I crawled into a warm bed last night and I know where I’m sleeping tonight. There is a roof over my head and the house is warm. The fridge and cupboards have food. My pups are safe, fed and happy. I turn on the tap and have clean water. I am blessed. If I have to make fewer trips, walk a bit further, so be it. We are luckier than most people that we share this world with.”
Let’s put aside our complaints, join hands and pray that somehow, in some way, our world can soon be put to rights again with the threat of nuclear war calmed, and so the people of Ukraine can once again return home to their damaged nation in order to begin picking up the pieces and restoring it in peace.