Thursday 22 August 2019

Nature is all around us - get out and enjoy it

I KNOW little or nothing about gardening. I know little or nothing about astronomy. Yet I mess about in the garden, cut the grass, mow the lawn and tidy up. I look up at the sky, spot the sun and moon, the Northern Star, the Plough too. But that's it.

Leaving a neighbour's house on Friday, between her hall door and the gate, I spotted the first primrose. The following morning, early before day had broken, I spotted the beginnings of a cluster of daffodils. In spite of the awful weather we have had, the rain and wind, the terrible floods, the tiniest first inklings of spring are appearing and it is absolutely fantastic. It's only going to get better from here on in.

I can still recall my late mother being so excited the first evening my father came home from work in the daylight at 4.45pm. It was a benchmark in my mother's calendar. And of course these evenings when it is bright in Dublin until close to 5.40pm, in Kerry 15 minutes later, I naturally think of my mother and how she adored the advent of longer days. And now too, the mornings are beginning to get brighter.

Nature is coming to life right in front of our eyes and we are privileged to be able to experience and indeed live it.

We might well have hail, rain and snow in the coming weeks. I remember seeing snow on Patrick's Bridge in Cork back in the 1970s, but nothing is going to stop the days getting longer and brighter. And nothing is going to stop the temperature rising, the trees flourishing, the grass growing. I'll be extravagant and say we are just about to enter the best time of the year. From now until June 21 every day will be longer. It's hope all the way for the next number of months.

I often wonder how we survive the winter, yet we do, year in year out. I'm permanently amazed how we manage to get out of the bed in cold dark wet mornings and yet we do. The agony of getting out of the bed any time before 8am surely is the topic for a great story and yet I have never seen anything written about it. Or is it just I who finds it torturous rising at 6.15am on dark wet mornings listening to the rain hit off the roof?

That's all about to change, ever so gradually.

A cousin of mine visited me last week and insisted I watch Operation Transformation, which I duly did.

These days I can't avoid hearing so much about unhealthy lifestyles, obesity, sugar being the new tobacco and the world of fast food eating.

On the one hand millions is spent on making a mess of our bodies and then more millions is spent trying to make them right again. And isn't it odd most of the mess has happened in the name of advancement.

We let so much of the wonder of nature that is happening right in front of our noses pass us by that we have more or less become immune to so much.

Why would you go to a gym when you can walk or cycle? Of course there are those who are invalided or disabled and may not be able to be out and about. But most of us have everything at our disposal to enjoy the outdoors.

Only last Sunday walking in the Waterworks in Bohernabreena near Tallaght my dog disturbed a deer and off it ran. And before you say a word, the dog was on a lead.

It's all about to unfold right in front us. Get out and about. Enjoy it. And it's free.

Lá Fhéile Bríde has come and gone, so we are allowed hope. And guess what, winter too has its magic.

Wexford People

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