Dia is Mhuire díobh go léir a chairde, and welcome to my report.
Already the first day of June is gone and can the next 29 be far behind? The hardest thing is to know what day of the week you’d have. Since the fabric of our daily lives has been I suppose torn to shreds. In normal times we had certain days for certain things. Mass for Sunday and Friday for the pension. Days for meeting friends for coffee, nights for meetings. But with the way things are now all the days are the same and we miss the routine more and more as the months go on. Still it is a small price to pay for the way that we are keeping the dreaded virus from our door. The weather still is playing it’s part by turning on the lovely sun early every morning and going on late into the evenings. They always say that the best part of the day is the early morning and I thoroughly agree. The early morning dew is worth getting up to see. Even in this dry spell, the dew falls heavy and wet at night to give everything a refreshing drink before the hot day starts. To watch the early birds, scoffing up the spoils, packing their beaks to full capacity before heading off the feed their young and coming back for more. Already some have their young on the wing and their noisy twittering gives great life to the scene. The gardens are coming along very well, now that Jack has put his Frost on the back burner but watch out for the green fly, they are back. Garden Centres are doing a roaring trade in spite of all the precautions and the planting is giving great enjoyment to both parents and children. They are making great use of this quality time during this emergency to engage in some relaxing hobbies. Children are experiencing new things all the time. I know a few who put their phones etc aside the other day and headed for a local stream and at day’s end they said they had the best time ever, messing around in the cooling water. We have seen some wonderful creations and great family closeness since the lockdown. Parents and children really getting to know each other, having time to listen to each other and plan things together. We hope it will help form friendships and understanding that they will never lose. Many people are very grateful for the experience.
In spite of the fact that there are no Tidy Towns Competitions this year, our faithful committee will still do lots of planting to enhance our town. Noreen Dennehy and Pat Randals etc. are busy again planting flowers sponsored as usual by SuperValu. Their work is highly appreciated. Our Holy Year Grotto on the Macroom road is after getting its annual face lift thanks to the efforts of the local residents who proudly carry out this work every year. Those who cannot help with the work are never slow to donate to the cost. So this is as good a time as any to remind people to keep Millstreet and the approach roads litter free and looking well. This emergency has thought us a great deal about life and living, about how precious we are to one another. We are all on the same mission for now, and let us adopt that mode, in everything that we are doing, even keeping Millstreet clean.
The silage season is on full swing. Always a time to be welcomed but also to be feared. The massive machinery that is involved in this mammoth work is big, fast, and loud, to put it mildly. Contractors can’t afford to lose time because of pressure from their customers. Every year, lives are lost at silage time. Please be on the lookout for the extra traffic, especially on narrow roads. Quad bikes are often used at these times also to make short runs, they too can pose a danger and have led to many deaths. The making of silage is a well established system now and they have all the right gear for the work but we were there for the transition from hay to silage. From horse power to tractor power and books could be written about it. It was indeed like trying to waltz to a rock’n roll song. Frayed ropes and frayed utensils and frayed tempers were the order of the day. All the neighbours came to help as they did for the threshing. So the Bean a Tighe would have anything up to twelve or more people for the dinner at midday and tea later on. Nowadays the farmer himself isn’t even there when his silage is going in. There were no choppers that time to cut up the grass and when Winter came and the cattle fed off the pit they had their own difficulty in pulling the long strands, very often damaging their teeth. Needless to say there were some wise remarks about that too, saying that such a fellows cows were getting new false teeth. In time the horse became surplus to requirement and had to go. The horse was a big loss, with it went a whole way of life that prevailed since time began in farming. The horse was more than a beast of burden. The horse was a friend, soft, warm, friendly, smart, and strong. The farmer and his horses knew one another, had a wonderful relationship. When he gave the order to go, stop, turn, trot, or walk, the horse responded. On seeing his master in the distance the animal gave a loud neigh that could be heard afar, and when feeding time came and some nice fodder was coming the horse gave a low friendly response, no louder than a whisper, for all the world like saying, thanks. These were the lovely things that we lost with the onset of the tractor. There was more power, more speed and endurance, but without the love and companionship, of a horse. The price of progress.
So as we approach the 8th of June, what are we envisaging. It’s wonderful to see so many business places creeping back. On the more personable side of it, like going to Mass, being allowed to travel further afield. Shopping, I think we’ll be like something left out for the first time. To take the step or not to take the step, I hope it goes well and it will be great to see more people again. Getting behind the wheel after a number of months can be a challenge in itself and people of my own vintage would be well advised to as they say, ‘take it handy’ for a while. For the first couple of times I found it difficult to focus and compare the speed of my car to the speed of my own brain. So do please take care. It will be strange for us to pull up to our filling station again. Some have not been there since before St. Patrick’s Day. What a pity, with fuel prices at rock bottom and we with nowhere to go.
Our Masses on Cork Music Station get better all the time. On Sunday which was Pentecost Sunday it was made so special by our wonderful choir and the lovely playing of the organ by Deirdre Tracey. Don’t miss Sean Radley’s Request program after Mass on Sundays. It is so homely, and enjoyable. Tune in to him tonight in the same station at 9.30. We are indeed blessed to have our very own radio programs, that can reach our people near and far. I love the thought for the week on this weeks Mass Leaflet it said, “Often when we lose hope and think it’s the end , God smiles from above and says Relax, it’s just a bend, not the end. “
Please take good care around fires during this very dry weather. Don’t start a fire if you’re near a forest or any other dry places that could catch fire, even a barbeque in your own garden.
No, I didn’t see that satellite in the skies the other night. But I still recall the night in the late fifties when we were not long married, getting up in the middle of the night to watch the first one called Sputnik. It was plain to see speeding along in the night sky and was the talk of the town next day at the creamery etc. and the papers gave it full headline cover.
That’s about it from me this week. Please continue to do everything that we are told to do. They have guided us well so far, so we have no other reason but to keep up the good work,
Slán is beannacht Dé libh go léir.