St. Patrick’s Day was extra special this year. It was a bitterly cold day, but it was bright and dry for the thousands who marched in parades in towns and cities in every county in Ireland. In over 48 countries around the world, nearly 300 landmarks turned green for St. Patricks Day. The London Eye, the Leaning Tower of Pisa, The Great Wall of China, Sydney Opera House, Niagara Falls, the Chicago River, to name but a few, all celebrating Ireland and its people.
It was also bright and dry in the UK, in Twickenham Stadium, the home of English Rugby, where in front of 82,000 rugby fans, the Irish national rugby team gave us extra reason to celebrate our national day, when they beat the England rugby team to bring home to Ireland both the Triple Crown and the Grand Slam. What a day to be Irish!
But St. Patrick’s Day is over and Easter Sunday beckons. The clocks have sprung forward and we have an extra hour of light in the evenings. Unfortunately, it is still unseasonably cold, but we live in hope.
When I was a child this week traditionally was the time for the big spring clean.
Skirting boards were scrubbed, all surfaces washed down with bleach and hot water. Cupboards were cleaned out, all the cobwebs banished from the corners of the sitting room and the top of the landing. Windows were cleaned and opened to allow the fresh air to circulate throughout the rooms. The whole house purged waiting on the rebirth of Easter.
You would think reading that last sentence that I was religious. I am not. But Easter goes back further than Christianity. Easter heralds spring. When our world springs back to life and hope gives us all a spring in our step, pardon the pun.
I love this time of year. It is a time of hope, of new life, of great expectations for the future. The daffodils dance in the breeze, waving at us. This year they may have been beaten back by snow for a little while but they are up again, their smiling yellow faces urging us to be cheerful, to look forward.
In spring we plan for the year ahead, we still have hope for a decent summer, still have time to lose those extra pounds piled on during the dark winter months, time to plan holidays and day trips, BBQ’s and quality time with family and friends.
This week I plan to rejig my New Year Resolutions, ditch what isn’t working and forge ahead with new resolutions, new hopes and dreams for the future. You are never too old for hopes and dreams.
So Happy Easter everyone. May you find hope and joy and follow your dreams.