Even though it’s summer, this has the feel of spring about it. We seem to be like calves released from our winter hibernation, stampeding around the place, throwing our heels in the air, excited and delighted that we can feel the grass growing under our feet.
What’s even better is that we’re promised even more if the official pathway laid out before us is not blown out of the water by our own carelessness or irresponsibility.
Thankfully, three things have conspired to create this visit to the anticipated land of milk and honey.
One is a new appreciation of the ordinary. What’s particularly moving is how much the opportunity to enjoy what we took for granted has delivered such palpable delight, consuming a pint in a pub with friends is discussed with such solemn respect that you’d imagine someone had discovered a new Seamus Heaney poem. The satisfaction of meeting family members after a long lockdown sets in perspective all the easy chat about the limitations of home. Having a cup of coffee with friends is one of the new wonders of our new world. Not to speak of the discovery of grandparents’ joy in seeing and hugging their grandchildren. Everything that we were denied that was ordinary we’ve discovered is now wonderful – thanks to the lockdown.
A second is that, even though no one wants to admit it, we’ve more money in our pockets than we ever imagined. With most shops closed, most avenues of pleasure cut off at the pass, foreign holidays effectively either outlawed or deemed socially irresponsible and a host of other expenses spared, we find ourselves with a small fortune of disposable, accumulated funds to dispense at will.
Mr Varadkar, contends that we have six billion euros tucked away and that it’s our patriotic duty to get out there immediately and to spend it. Apparently, the reasoning is that if we spend our money, the generated business and taxes will pay the multiple billions we’ve already spent on PUP and the effects of COVID-19. If we do, Mr Varadkar says, the economy ‘will take off like a rocket’. We will, no doubt, take him at his word.
A third is that our ticket to this Shangri-la – the vaccine, is available to everyone, free of charge.
All that has to be done is (i) to dispense it – and in fairness this is happening at breakneck speed – and (ii) to take it.
It beggars belief that a whole shaft of nonsensical reasons for not taking the vaccine is being peddled by a cohort of unconvincing and unimpressive self-appointed experts who inflict their crass wisdom on a mostly disbelieving public.
Attending vaccination centres is a marvel of human science. Yes, our God inspires the intellects that has achieved the vaccine in record time. I have no doubt that the wisdom and inspiration behind this achievement, was as a result of the heartfelt prayers, of millions for an end to this dreadful pandemic.
But though it seems like spring, the truth is that we’re trying to come to terms with the greatest miracle of all time. Summer is here. God is good and all manner of things will be well. Enjoy.
God, you have warmed our corner of your marvellous creation with your love and grace.
I thank you for the invigorating days of summer.
The longer days of sunlight remind me that the Bible records your first creative command for the cosmos as, “Let there be light!” and that Jesus is the Light shining into fragile human hearts.
Light gives life, and summer teems with life.
Thank you for all the wonders of life you have created and have given to us to enjoy.