The sun rises up over the bay and lights up the greenery of a city that is this year setting out on its quest to be one of the greenest there is, by appreciating its parks and woodlands and things natural. It's Springtime and suddenly, wintertime and al its associated miserable weather is left behind.There is simply no place better to enjoy Spring than here in Galway, the city and county. It was as if the place was made for the kind of light that falls on the west.
Everybody is energised and ready for the year ahead, because the Galway year is like that, a set series of events and happenings that in their own way frame the seasons for the city. Galway has always been a coming together of ideals and imperfections, a pot pourri of dreams and ambitions and realities that when chucked into the blender along with a few accordions and organic vegetables creates a sense of a city that attracts people from far and wide. And whatever essence this sense of a city lets off, it is a magical elixir that defines us all as being players in a city with a unique identity.
And so we extol Galway with a great pride, Galway the city and Galway the feeling. We tell people they have to sample it, partly to see if they will enjoy it and partly to convince ourselves that we haven't just imagined it all along.
There is no city in Ireland quite like Galway, even for those of us who have lived here all our lives, or who have been blow-ins for decades or just days. No more than any other city, there is a sort of invisible inscription on the pavements that reads to all of us 'you could be happy here.' or here is your type of place."
It is a place without pretentiousness which aims to hold court with a sense of its own uniqueness and characteristic imperfection. And so this sort of Galwayness permeates every sense of ourself.
This week as the city celebrates the Galway Food Festival, the Heart of Galway will be evident in all that is held. There will be a Galwayness to the way the talks are titled, to the way the food is presented and to the reality that Galway now finds itself as a gourmet centre of excellence in addition to everything else.
There is a Galway way about how we live. Our centre streets at weekends are performing spaces for buskers and retailers. Even our politicians have a Galwayness about them, a sort of joie de vivre or madness that encapsulates and infuriates in equal measure. Their numbers contains rogues and poets and storytellers and ecowarriors -- our type of people.
So if this magical formula is so precious, why don't we keep it for ourselves. Shut the doors and savour it just for ourselves. We don't do this, because we want this community to prosper, to set ideals for itself so that it becomes even more more inclusive and welcoming, in order for the pot pourri to maintain the right shades and smells.
We believe that Galway has to tell others about this need to be sustainable because the spirit is very much in keeping with the Advertiser's Buy Local ethos which states that by keeping your business in your community, you will be keeping your community in business.
Whether it is in the villages of the county, or the larger towns, or the city itself, it is important that we all play our role in helping our local communities to survive and to prosper. We all have spending power, whether large or small, and it is our economic future, and that of our families, our friends, and our neighbours on whom our spending will impact directly. So let us take the opportunity to support each other, to promote our communities and to spend locally, which will ultimately be to the benefit of us all.
And so the sense of Galway is with us as soon as we land in this city. It is a pulsating, beating heart to which our feet follow the beat. Enjoy the city and county this Spring.