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RONAN SCULLY: The Queen of the May

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CLARE Echo columnist Ronan Scully shares his thoughts on living in the moment this summer season.

As I write this thought for the week, I am just after returning from a beautiful May walk near my home. Finally the season of summer is upon us and it has shown itself in full bloom. It gave me a sweet taste of the hopefully warm summer days before us. Hopefully it will make us in some ways feel younger and more alive even in these times of Covid-19. A thought that came to me during my walk is that I love and adore the month of May and the beginning of the season of summer.

I love the sunshine of the summer months as it brightens up the world, and with it, brings days of new warmth and gives obvious signs of awakening and renewal wherever we look. It amazes me how the evenings start to lengthen to their fullest and how the heat of the sun comes back into the air.  For me, summer is the symbolic season that reminds one to grab hold of all that life has to offer as we are never sure of our tomorrows.  Summer is the fulfilment of a hopeful spring.

To make the most of summer is, for me, to make the most of all that is good in life.  Gone are thoughts of winter despair or a chilling and wet spring. Everything around us now in this summer season is alive and vibrant and in full maturity.  If I seize a summer day, I believe I seize life itself and find in it all that gives pleasure and meaning. But nothing is as beautiful as all the trees, flowers, shrubs and bushes that are in full bloom and full of life and energy.

It is truly a beautiful, magical and wonderful time of our year. It makes me think about the many blessings that summer shines upon us, such as the warmth and freshness in the air, the warm sun on my skin, wonderful humid breezes, singing of the birds, the growth of nature all around me, animals of all kinds fully emerged, fresh and sea waters flowing, trees, plants and flowers fully blossomed in an array of numerous colours, and of course the summer holidays. The month of May, which is also the month of Our Lady, marks the start of the  summer and a time to enjoy and experience life.

We all need to be positive and embrace abundance, love, care and joy into our lives, treasuring each moment as it comes. We get so wrapped up at times, well I know I do, with thinking about the past, a lot of the time trying to control the future and forgetting to enjoy and be at peace in the present moment. In this world there is strife. There is hardship, and there is suffering. There is inequality. There is injustice. There is also abundant beauty amidst it all. And within that beauty there are reminders tucked away everywhere, encouraging us to persist, to strive, and to bring our dreams for a better world to life.

We have only to open our hearts and look, and we will see them. Please this summer try to embrace the positive in your life as it’s meant to be. Live in the moment. Nothing stays the same. Look at nature. Too often we worry about the future and brood about the past. It is the fear of what might be or what was that keeps us from being in the present. Focus your energy on the present. In the present you are as alive as you can be.

Whatever you are doing now, give it your full attention . See it. Hear it. Touch it. Smell it. Taste it. Sense it. We all need to start focusing on positive thoughts and creative ideas that make us happy and content. Less negative thinking, it only brings down our spirits and serves no purpose. Let’s all try this summer and always to make the most of all that is good in our lives and never take anything or anyone for granted.

Lessons on life

“There was a man who had four sons. He wanted his sons to learn not to judge things too quickly. So he sent them each on a quest, in turn, to go and look at a pear tree that was a great distance away. The first son went in the winter, the second in the spring, the third in summer and the youngest son in the fall. When they had all gone and come back, he called them together to describe what they had seen.  The first son said that the tree was ugly, bent, and twisted.  The second son said no, it was covered with green buds and full of promise. The third son disagreed; he said it was laden with blossoms that smelled so sweet and looked so beautiful, it was the most graceful thing he had ever seen. The last son disagreed with all of them; he said it was ripe and drooping with fruit, full of life and fulfillment.

“The man then explained to his sons that they were all right, because they had each seen but only one season in the tree’s life.  He told them that you cannot judge a tree, or a person, by only one season, and that the essence of who they are and the pleasure, joy, and love that come from that life can only be measured at the end, when all the seasons are up. If you give up when it’s winter, you will miss the promise of your spring, the beauty of your summer, fulfillment of your fall. The moral of the story is, don’t let the pain of one season destroy the joy of all the rest. Don’t judge life by one difficult season. Persevere through the difficult patches and better times are sure to come some time later.”

A Beautiful “Summer’s” Day

The following is a beautiful summers poem called Summer by one of my favourite poets John Clare that goes as follows, “Come we to the summer, to the summer we will come, For the woods are full of bluebells and the hedges full of bloom, And the crow is on the oak a-building of her nest, And love is burning diamonds in my true lover’s breast; She sits beneath the whitethorn a-plaiting of her hair, And I will to my true lover with a fond request repair; I will look upon her face, I will in her beauty rest, And lay my aching weariness upon her lovely breast.

“The clock-a-clay is creeping on the open bloom of May, The merry bee is trampling the pinky threads all day, And the chaffinch it is brooding on its grey mossy nest. In the whitethorn bush where I will lean upon my lover’s breast; I’ll lean upon her breast and I’ll whisper in her ear that I cannot get a wink of sleep for thinking of my dear; I hunger at my meat and I daily fade away. Like the hedge rose that is broken in the heat of the day.”

Thought for the week

As your thought for the week, I pray that as the signs of summer begin to show themselves all around us, you will remember that each new day is like a cleared field ready for planting. Your thoughts, attitudes, and actions are the seeds you plant. This summer choose only the seeds that will produce a bountiful harvest of love, joy, health, kindness, care, prosperity, and peace. And may you give thanksgiving not only for the summertime around you, but also for the summertime within you.  This summer season try to dislodge hate and replace it with love. Dislodge pride and replace it with humility.

Dislodge anger and replace it with self control. Dislodge unbelief and replace it with faith. Dislodge revenge, and replace it with forgiveness. Dislodge complaining and replace it with praise. Dislodge evil and unkind thoughts and replace them with pure and kind thoughts. Dislodge gossip and replace it with encouragement. Dislodge laziness and replace it with caring. Happy Summer season everyone!! I wish each of you as you read this thought, in this moment and on this day, much peace and joy and pray that we will recover from the worries and destruction of the coronavirus and find a cure for it.

Feel this summer, own it, squeeze the juice out of it. You have arrived at your destination; this is the present summer of your life. “Let us make this month of May and season of Summer be a month and season of blessings: blessings of goodness, blessings of joy, peace and kindness, friendship and love, creativity, strength, serenity, equality, justice, peace, love, fulfilling work and dignity, satisfaction, success, and sustenance, physical health and radiance. May truth and justice guide our acts, and compassion temper our lives that we may blossom as we age and become our sweetest selves. May it be so during this month of May and always.” Enjoy a beautiful summer!!!

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