The Old Irish Parcel
"You've Got A Parcel"
These words were once the much yearned for exclamation of the Irish Postman, a statement at a time in
Ireland's past that did not require further explanation. Something rare, something special had arrived and
was to be wholly appreciated by all concerned.
Stories and indeed memories still resonate regarding the arrival of 'The Parcel'. It represented something
more than a gift or selection of gifts. It had made its way to the homeland from a distant destination via
the hands of a loved one. It was a much-welcomed arrival that evoked emotional sentiments of delight, appreciation and partially filled the void of the absent sender; a son, daughter, brother, sister....
'The Parcel,' full of carefully hand selected gifts and wrapped in crisp brown paper. Meticulously folded corners and neatly lapped joints were a display of purpose. The durable paper with the much yearned for address carefully ascribed in a familiar hand, securely crossed and intently knotted with robust twine, the swaying ends of which were sealed together in a red wax to ensure the contents' integrity. The top right corner affixed with an array of colourful postage stamps giving clues as to the worldly path it had taken.
'The Parcel' brought with it great elation and expectation to the intended household. The potential of something for everyone was palpable. Its opening was a methodical affair, always considerate of secondary uses, the wrapping (for book covering), stamps (for amusement), string (for boots) and the durable container (for storage). The household gathered in a ready stance, knowing that a 'first come first served' basis may apply to any of the the non-allotted items. Once opened, surfacing at the top was a letter which was left aside for perusal and contemplation at a calmer time. The letter removal was magically trailed by a distinctive and unfamiliar mix of scents emanating from the box, creating images of foreign delights. Delights that would in years to come transport them back to this time, this place, this simplicity. An array of pertinent sundries were contained therein, foreign teas, malted biscuits hidden within bright shirts (emblazoned with names of unheard-of teams), check shirts, quality socks, denim garments, chiffony blouses, dresses, hats... some new, some hand me downs, there were no parameters or conditions as to its contents.
'The Parcel' became a symbolic connection, of remembering, of acknowledging, of achievement, of
pride, of necessity, of thanks, of love.