Dia is Mhuire díobh go léir a chairde, and welcome to my report.
The morning sun on the dewy grass turns the lawn into a carpet bejewelled with millions of diamonds and the (hated), moss is beautiful to walk on, maybe it wets my shoes but I’m sure I have another pair. The lovely scene will be gone very soon and it would be a pity to miss it. With the power of Skype I showed some local scenes to my friends in the faraway Wild West of Nebraska last week where the prairie stands brown still in the tail end of winter and they were amazed at how green everyplace is here. The red camellias and yellow daffodils and multi coloured primroses painting a beautiful picture for me to show to my friends. Sometimes it’s only when you hear others saying how lovely some thing is that you stop a say to yourself, yes it is. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I always leave a seat or chair in different places in my garden where I can sit down at any time and enjoy it and maybe say a little prayer.
Holy Week was something of a revelation, a revelation in every sense of the word. One for the books. Never before have we seen so many people wanting to pray and every church and place of worship closed. But I know it didn’t stop the multitudes from finding solace in the Lord. Aside from the worldwide pandemic which closed everything down we were able to find a religious service online, in every part of the Globe. There was plenty to choose from and if you missed one, there was always another to be found somewhere else, from Masses early and late to the Rosary, Stations of the Cross, the Close of the Divine Mercy Novena and so on. I have to say a special thanks to all those in our own area, for their wonderful cover of our Lenten/Holy Week services. May God reward their efforts. It was something of a mystery that both Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday were both raining, which kept us all imprisoned in our homes. But in each case the sun, which hasn’t left us since the Corona virus pandemic began shone out warm and welcoming the next day and brightened up the scene. again.
The lovely Pictures of Millstreet taken from the air were so uplifting. We didn’t realise how beautiful our little town looks from the sky and the images cheered us up no end. The beautiful pink Moon and starry skies were worth looking at too. The pictorial details of the graveyard, the Cillín, in the Clara Road were very interesting. It’s a place we don’t hear much about and yet it is so historical. From my experience at trying to get information about the likes, the best place to try is in England. The English were in command when the Work House was up and running and many records are kept in pristine condition in their archives across the water. It may be worth a try. Discover Duhallow magazine is in the shops. (April 3rd) and it contains the continued list of all the businesses that were up and running in Millstreet in 1914. The first of the list was in the previous issue. March 20.
This social distancing ( I hate that word cocooning) has become a way of life. We never thought we could do it but when we see that our efforts are working all over the country, then, the benefits outweigh the price. I doubt if we were in any way surprised when we were asked to extend it for a further three weeks because it was easy to see that the situation demanded it. We are indeed blessed with our people at the top who told us from the outset what was in store and didn’t mince their words when telling us what the consequences would be if we didn’t toe the line. Other leaders stayed in denial until the bug took hold and the rest is history. Give merit where merit is due. Fair play to our TV people they are laying on lots of extra programs and films to help us on our way. Their repeat of Blarney Castle was lovely to see again and Denny Cronin, helping the millions to kiss the famous stone (watch Denny on the RTÉ Player, at 4:20 in the video). The vast number of messages flying in through our mobile phones etc is amazing and helps in no small way to keep us in touch. Even still, it’s lovely to go through them again and take time to let the friendly messages and sweet music seep in. The Bluebells are in bloom in the garden today, they were not out on Saturday, but Sunday’s soft rain brought them bursting forth. The little seeds that were sown no more than a week ago are up. We don’t know if they will ever make it to adulthood because it’s very early and we could get frost that would burn them all. When we were able to rely on our seasons it was always said that you are not free from frost till the end of May. But for now it’s all about, inch by inch, row by row, someone bless these seeds I sow, something bless them from below, as the rain comes tumbling down.
God love us, the personal grooming, or lack of continues to take it’s toll. The locks are getting longer, and the beautiful gold or black or auburn tresses are gradually being pushed further up the line by a forest of pearly white much to the dislike of the person beneath. That’s one thing, but a little lad was heard to say to his Mom a few days ago when he saw what I’ve just described, ‘what’s that thing in the middle of your head Mom, take it off, I hate it, take it off’ and no amount of gentle explaining would convince him that it was in fact, her hair. It actually frightened him and I think that I can identify with his fear. Everybody is worried now whether they show it or not and little children are no different,they’re hearing of all the doom and gloom of people being sick or about to get sick and die. The little ones are taking it all in, sometimes not able to express their worries or figure out what’s happening. They’re not going to school and meeting their friends, their young lives are in quandary. I remember when I was a small child of about five or six. Our mother died when I was just over three and I hung around after my Dad, he was my mother and father all rolled into one. One day I was with him in the yard and he was bent down doing something and I saw a few grey ribs in his hair and I nearly died, I thought that because he was turning grey that he was going to die soon, I’ll never forget the fright I got that day and it was the first thing I thought of when that friend told me her story and maybe one day when he is older, he will be able to say why he reacted as he did.
Our wonderful Day Centre is lashing out beautiful freshly cooked meals every day. Monday to Friday and you can order two on Friday if you want and heat it up at the weekend. There is a different menu every day and there is a marked increase in the numbers of people availing of the service. It’s only a phone call away. 02930998. Full dinner costs €6 and if you want dessert it’s a mere €2 more. It’s delivered to your door piping hot in a disposable contained which can be composted.
The supermarkets, chemists,and postmen are looking after us well. The amount of human kindness continues to abound. There were no shortage of flowers, chocolates, vino and legs of lamb to meet the Easter trade. Social distancing top priority. Some people working from home were able to run and pick up the goodies for the young and aged. One young mother grabbed the last few Easter Eggs and stored them in the boot of her car while she picked up the rest of her things. Alas that was the roasting day that we got last week and when she went for her would-be gifts they were reduced to a sticky mess of melted chocolate, sweets, cardboard, plastic all in a lovely presentation bag.
Many thanks to Sean Radley for inviting me to take part in his wonderful show on Cork Music Station last week. His Show goes world wide on line every Tuesday Night from 9.30 to 11 when he brings Millstreet people living in all parts of the Globe together through the power of Internet Radio.
Our sincere sympathy goes to the relatives of the local people who passed away recently. May the Good Lord console them in the grief and grant their loved ones Eternal Rest.
Please keep up the prayers for the success of the battle against the Corona virus pandemic.
Agus sinn a bhfuil a chairde, slán is beannacht Dé libh go léir.