A picture perfect azure sky with not a cloud to be seen heralded the first truly summer’s day of the year. The temperature already was climbing into the 20’s and it was still early in the morning.
A small blue tit is busily having an early morning dip in the yellow bucket oblivious to the neighbour’s cat who is greedily eyeing it. But, with a shake of his feathers the blue tit departs before the cat can even think of pouncing. Disgusted the cat creeps back underneath the shade of the of the overhanging roof to await the next bird who would dare enter the garden.
Neighbouring children are out playing, released at last from the confines of their houses. Their imaginations running riot and soon they have found treasure or scored a goal in the world cup they are playing in. Some have turned into princesses while others have moved Lego into the outdoors and continued to build what they have seen in their imagination.
Another neighbour is working hard preparing garden plots for the new arrivals which he has ordered and are due to be delivered. These plots will turn into a veritable dinning table of vegetables. Peas climbing up bamboo poles, marrows grown for autumn harvest, carrots tenderly looked after to give that sweet taste and smell to summer dinners. The soft fruit bushes have been protected from the winter frosts and are starting to bloom, with the promise of jam in the offing.
There is the sound of music. It is not a radio. The music is not familiar. A beautiful bass voice begins to sing. Yet again the language is unfamiliar. The chords initially sound discordant but as the music continues, it gradually weaves itself into the life of garden suburbia. Does this music come from central Europe? Perhaps the Baltic? Then again it could be eastern mediterranean. It doesn’t really matter, it is part of this summers day.
Sitting beneath a large heavy linen parasol, hands holding one of a number of daily cups of tea the sounds cast a soothing spell. The stresses ease as the familiar and not so familiar sounds drift on the air. Yes, a summer’s day in suburbia can be just perfect.
I was sent a short video to mark International Women’s Day and it showed three young women who basically blamed all their ills on the previous generation. It was brilliantly put together and very funny.
However it set me thinking. Was this the way, that women who gave up paid employment in order to look after their family full-time were in fact being judged?
Since becoming one of those women back in the 1990’s, I found that society but to a greater extent working women saw me as something to be derided, belittled or totally ignored. I was told that “I was a pariah on society, taking without giving” .
I have been privileged to have met so many women mainly in the 50 plus age limit who are strong women. These women cared for elderly relatives, reared children, were and some still are active in their churches, started voluntary bodies which have since been taken over by state bodies, supported schools and worked unpaid for all their adult lives.
They have enabled others to have choices and they are still supporting their families with many of them taking on the childminding roles for the next generation. Some are finding a new source of education through the next generation.
I was talking with a seventy year old lady recently. Dympna was inspired by a young twenty year old woman who communicated, read, interacted all through her mobile phone. Dympna now uses her mobile for everything from emails, to bill paying to basic phone calls. In turn she is now teaching it.
I am firmly of the opinion that there is so much to learn from every generation. No one generation is better than another but just think what can be done when the minds of different generations come together with respect.
Tomorrow March 17th is Saint Patrick’s Day. It is a national holiday here in Ireland.
Each town and city will hold a parade show casing community organisations. Children involved with every pastime imaginable will march behind every type of band or music group.
Communities within the towns will parade celebrating the diversity and the commonality of the area.
It is amazing that Saint Patrick’ Day will be celebrated in so many parts of the world, with parades and even buildings going “green”.
For some the day will start with a religious ceremony. Saint Patrick is actually only one of the three patron saints of Ireland. The others being St Brigid and Saint Columcille.
The day itself has become known as Paddy’s Day however, it is a huge mistake to call it Patty’s Day.
No matter where you are can I wish you a very happy
Saint Patrick’s Day.