Happy St Patrick's Day!
March is the time to celebrate green. There is much to celebrate this year about green; especially with the all the bad weather we have been having. Typically March brings the green starts of the daffodils, grass, and cold crop green vegetables. Many of the healthiest of the green vegetables begin their season in the erratic temperatures of March. Broccoli, collard greens, cabbage, and kale are early crop vegetables that have an ever-increasing link with cardio-health and some believe they offer protection from some cancers.
It is also the time for the beginning of the return of “green-space” in the outdoors. There is increasing evidence that access to green space in our living environment is indicative of physical and mental health. Exposure to green in the garden or on a walk through the park or woods positively affects our moods, concentration and self-discipline (Maas, Verheij, deVries, Spreewnberg & Schellevis, 2009).
March is also the time to celebrate the “wearin’ o the green”. We can all renew our spirits with the celebration of St Patricks Day because on March 17, everyone claims to be Irish. St. Patrick, the patron saint of the emerald isle, was not really Irish at all, but the son of Roman parents who lived in England. He was kidnapped in his youth and taken to Ireland to perform years of hard labor as an indentured servant. He escaped and returned to England and his parents where he became a devout Christian. He began to study the Bible, became a priest, and then returned to Ireland where he spent the rest of his life ministering to the Irish people and converting them to Christianity. Legend has it that he used the shamrock (a three leafed clover) to explain the concept of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit which is why the green plants are still held in high regard today.
As the winter comes to an end and with spring right around the corner, we can also reflect on our lives with the pleasant memories associated with green. One of my best memories is the performance of one the most notable American icons, Kermit the Frog, singing “It’s not easy being green”. This sweet metaphor gives encouragement to each of us to accept ourselves, love ourselves, and recognize that we are all unique and valuable in our own way. God loves us and accepts us just the way we are.
Happy St. Patrick’s Day and Luck O the Irish to you!
Jean Stodghill, APRN
Baptist Express Care @ LaGrange
1015 New Moody Lane
LaGrange, KY 40031
Maas, J., Verheij, R., deVries, S., Spreeuwenberg, P., Schellevis, F. (2009). Morbidity is related to green living environment. Journal of Epidemial Community Health, (63) pp.967-973.