by Ruth Hymel
Golden sprays of light lit up one corner of Miss Matty’s windowsill. She smiled at the memories stirred by the daffodils. Her mother’s voice floated up from many years ago, “Our new neighbors are… well… I don’t like as to call anyone odd…” Evening Shire did not at first know what to do with the bold Welshwoman come to live amongst them. Miss Matty chuckled. The self assured creative and wise woman, Evening Shire’s beloved mayor, had certainly brought cultural pride to the village. By her efforts the Welsh holiday, St. David’s Day, had quite become an Evening Shire holiday. That night the mayor was hosting a village concert at St. David’s Church. Miss Matty needed to start baking the bara brith soon. The shop door bell interrupted her thoughts. It was Gillian, the shopkeep at Listen 4 the Wind Memorial shop.
“Good afternoon, dear! How are you?”
“Just fine. I’ve brought you the Welsh cakes for this evening,” Gillian replied, plunking a large basket of fresh pastries on the counter. “We’re over at the church decorating. Colin charmed Fiona’s children into poking daffodils in every nook and cranny. Jennifer will be pleased. I’ll be off!”
Gillan stepped into a cool breeze. Her feet made a short clip as she hurried over the cobbled street. Her heart felt full of that excitement reserved only for holidays. Evening Shire was delightfully abuzz. Delicious, unusual smells sent out drifting tendrils from kitchens to tap on passing shoulders. Children chased each other in tall black St. David’s Day hats. Leeks in the saint’s honor shot jauntily out from behind more than one ear.
The bell donged from the belfry into the twilight. Voices and laughter mingled with evening noises, carrying up toward the church. The mayor greeted at the door with Vicar Gavin welcoming his flock. The room behind was awash with light. Yellow daffodils shone like stars; children shuffled, hats askew, a bit worse for wear; ropes of greenery hung from the altar. A loud cough silenced the congregation.
Jennifer stood, her “Happy St. David’s Day” welcomed by many returns, and the concert officially began. The night passed with music and merriment and the villagers stumbled home sleepy and full. It was a very happy St. David’s Day indeed.