Legacy of Poets

Photo Art: (c) 2017 Rev. Linda M. Rhinehart Neas
Daffodils - 
symbols of rebirth, national symbol of Wales

Searching for your roots can be an enlightening experience.  What I have found over the 30 odd years I have been tracing my family's genealogical journey, is that there is most definitely what scientist call, genetic memory.  Let me give you some examples.

My Slovakian ancestors raised and trained horses. They were, what we call today, horse whisperers - people with the ability to seemingly communicate via telepathy with horses. My mother, my brother and my granddaughter are all "horse" people.  (Like cat people, only with horses.)

Another example is the love of poetry within my family along with the ability and love for writing it. I had always assumed this came from my Irish ancestors. After all, their name was O'Riordan, which literally translated means, the King's Poet.  While I thought this passion for the written word ended there, recently, I discovered another legacy.

Long ago, when I was in my twenties and testing my writing skills, I mentioned to my mother that I wanted to be a poet...to publish poetry. She gave me a St. David's pin and told me that he was the patron saint of poet's. Being young, I put the pin in a box. Years passed and I forgot about my pin and St. David. 

Last night, as I was flipping over the calendar pages to March, I noticed that St. David's Day was listed for today, March 1. Memories came flooding in along with the realization that without thinking about it, I had bought daffodils, the national Welsh flower, for the house. This realization set my mind spinning. Pieces of information tucked in the dark recesses of my brain began to fall into place, like pieces of a great puzzle.

  • My 3X great grandfather was Irish, but was a transplant from Ireland to Wales during the hard times. He was a cobbler and made a pretty good life for his family. His daughter, my great, great grandmother, was born Welsh.  

  • In Wales, where St. David is the patron saint, people decorate with daffodils on March 1st. Every year, Momma would buy daffodils during the first of March, a practice handed down to her by her mother and grandmother from the Welsh side of the family. 

  • My Nana, mother and I wrote/write poetry. I began when I was quite young.  Momma would recite poems to me instead of bedtime stories. I always thought it was from the O'Riordan side of the family, but now know that my great grandmother Murphy carried this love with her, also.
All of this, set me to search for my pin.  I knew I hadn't thrown it away, because Momma had given it to me, so it was precious (to me). I remembered that I had found it when I moved into my home and had put it into my curio cabinet.  Sure enough, there it was still secured to the card it came on. 

Today, in honor of my mother, and the Welsh side of my family, I wore, for the first time, my St. David's pin. Perhaps, it was meant to take me this long to make all the connections, because now, in my 60's, I have a greater appreciation for the past and for the desire to learn why we do the things we do and how it all connects to our ancestors.

As the sun sets on this St. David's Day, I am feeling a warm and content glow, knowing that this passion for the word has been passed once more to a new generation through my daughters.  Can't wait to share with them the connections I have made. Amazing stuff, our DNA!


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