independent

Sunday 27 May 2018

Be aware of the nature that is around you, and appreciate it

Opinion

Fr Michael Commane - The Way I See It

Heading out the door on Monday I noticed the wellington boots in the hall and so too the snow grips. Back in January I loaned my car to a friend home on holidays from Norway and in return he gave me a pair of snow grips. I looked at them, laughed and put them away thinking to myself, what in heaven's name would I be doing with them.

When Emma came up against the Beast from the East was I glad to have my snow grips. Running about in the snow, I was silently thanking my friend for his 'silly gift'.

It's hard to believe that it's a short 60 days since our snow encounter. It's been a long hard cold and wet winter. Farmers are still experiencing the effects of the inclement weather. Visitors from the US last week were slow to believe me when I explained that we have had to import fodder from the UK.

Winter weather seems to have dissipated. We suddenly jumped from winter to summer, but we all know shedding clothes in the Irish climate is always dangerous. I still remember my mother telling us 'never cast a clout till May is out'. It seems many mothers gave such advice to their children. Of course we all throw off the coats and jumpers at the first hint of sun but there's wisdom in the adage.

'Irish summer' is close to an oxymoron. No, that's not fair. We can get great days. We should make it a priority to enjoy any hint of good weather and that means getting out and about whenever possible.

I walked through St Stephen's Green with my American visitors last week. They were in awe of the place and commented on what a magnificent facility right in the heart of the city.

We moan and groan about many things. It's spring, so I'm going to make it my business to notice all the good things we have right in front of our eyes. Wherever you live in Ireland, there's a park, a garden, a river, a lake, a field, a tree right beside you.

Did you ever stand still and notice the wonder and beauty of nature, the constantly changing sky? The sounds, the smells, the sights that surround us especially in spring should be a delight to our senses. And we need to grow aware of the nature that is around us and appreciate it.

Last Sunday I walked around the reservoir at Bohernabreena, which is just at the edge of Tallaght. We did the full walk in less than two hours. A place of beauty.

It's so easy to stay indoors and brood. Fresh air and physical exercise must be one of the best healing powers available to us. Letting soil filter through our hands when out gardening has a remarkable calming influence.

We talk about far-away hills being green but if we could only get into our heads the beauty and wonder that is staring us in the face. It's strange how we take things for granted, especially all that is good and beautiful. Since cutting the grass a few days ago I have noticed a robin hovering about every day since. It is almost talking to me.

'It's spring fever. That is what the name of it is. And when you've got it, you want-oh, you don't quite know what it is you do want, but it just fairly makes your heart ache, you want it so!' Mark Twain

Wexford People