There's a dangerous buzz to everyone over the last few days. You see people in the town, stopping and looking up at the sky and mouthing the words ‘blue’ , ‘bright’ and then moving on again and thinking of doing daft things like sitting outside at cafes and drinking a hot drink just hot enough to warm ya but not too hot to make you look ridiculous — you there sitting outside like a hard, braving this new fresh sensation. Like mammals peering out into the great brightness after the dark of winter, we stagger at first, unsure of what to do with this new found space and light and desire to do something other than that what we have been doing.
Spring is nature’s way of saying, let's party — so get off your ass, spring into life. Just like when the temperatures plummet as soon as the Christmas market hits the Square, as soon as Feb 1 arrives, like clockwork, like Punxsutawney Phil , we are stunned by its punctual arrival. The stretch comes in the evening, we look around marvel at the things we hadn’t noticed, like the number of 15 G cars. Some 1,300 of them sold in the first few weeks alone, and we see the streets, filling again after a quiet January, and people smiling and having fun and doing outdoor things like sitting on the grass and on the steps and kicking Galway back into life. And noticing each other and greeting each other and making sure nobody feels left out in a city in which it is so easy to feel left out.
Spring is that time, perhaps the only time of the year with the capacity to reach deep inside our heads and drag us back from the depths of despair. It has that freshness to slap us around the face, saying ‘wake up dickhead’, look around you, Look at what’s growing, what’s being renewed, Look at what has died, and rotted and now come back.
Look at the leaves now forming, small, shaped like the most beautiful of droopy emerald eyes with pools of colour so deep you want to dive in. Look at those leaves and see how they will flourish, leap onto them and grow with them. Let them carry you and your hopes through the rest of spring, the dryness of summer, and then you can watch them sadly as, with their work done, they crumple up and fall back into slumber come the autumn.
Let spring be the catalyst for your year of doing things. This region and the blueness of sky over it and the massive space is a wondrous stage for everyone to make a difference to someone else.
Whatever it is you are doing this morning and this week, whether it be making scones or writing sonnets, scrubbing floors or shining bonnets, let spring guide you and energise you. Let it be the vehicle for a year in which you shake yourself down, look in the mirror, tell yourself that you are a person who is well worth knowing, who can make a contribution no matter how large or small to making somebody else feel the exact same way.