That stretch in the evening has never been so welcome

C’mon, gimme your light. It’s been a long winter and autumn and spring.

I will gladly lean all my strength against the hand of that clock this weekend to push it forward so that we get sooner into summertime.

Since your sunset bathed my face in golden warmth, so much has happened. When we said goodbye to summertime and put the clocks back last autumn, we didn’t know that the winter would be one of so much discontent, that so much that is so horrible would prevail in our minds.

Since this time last year when we welcomed the stretch in the evening, the world has become a different place. I know that when we put the clock forward last March, we had just come out of the horrors of the Brussels bombing and were not long from the terrors of Paris the previous November.

But we hoped that these would be blips. Horrific interruptions on the normal order and that in the end, eventually, like in the movies, the good guys would win out. That commonsense would prevail. That the great nations of the world would be the great nations of the world and stand up to tyranny and scaremongering.

That electoral decisions would based on knowledge and imagination and creativity and hope and love.

Not on hate, and tyranny, and racism, and division, and lies.

When we welcomes summertime last year, we were not to know that were on the cusp of a Brexit that would throw us all into turmoil; that to solve an internal spat between some Tory public schoolboys, the future of the country and peace would be flung into turmoil.

We were also not to know that America would make the mistake it is now slowly realising it made. One that we will all pay the price for, because we have had to endure month after month of a society where to many, it is now OK to be racist, to be sexist, to be provocative, to be predatory, all because the holder of the biggest office in the world says we can.

Yes, summertime, since we last saw you and your heat and the orangenesss of your glow coming down that country road, a lot has changed.

So we are delighted to see you, to welcome you back in the hope that perhaps over the duration of your lifetime this year, we can reverse those processes; to introduce empathy where there is hate, to deal with understanding where there is ignorance, to see hope rather than fear.

I associate this time of the year with personal trauma, but because those have been overcome, I now associate them with an eagerness to grasp life by the scruff of the neck and live it to the full. I want to run like the clappers down that sunset boreen, to see wonder in the leaves that will spring forth in the coming weeks and to use those sense of renewal to creatively give something practical back to society.

If we all do the same, perhaps we can start changing our traumatised world, one step at a time. Enjoy the arrival of summertime. And don’t forget to put those clocks forward.

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