Séamus Ahearne: Larking about on the river and streams of consiousness…

“For singing till his heaven fills,’T is love of earth that he instils.”                                                                                   (George Meredith.)

Where have all the swans gone…

My life is disrupted. The morning begins talking to me c4.30 a.m. these days. I am being coaxed out of bed but I resist. My trip to The Tolka happens somewhat later. I keep looking for my friends but the Swan family have deserted me. The babies (cygnets) had been taught how to cross the road, looking right and left! They have gone for further education and a different college. The herons, ducks, coots and sometimes the cormorant are forever friends. I always have the talking river and the beautiful air and the chatting trees and the sheer exhilarating of being out. Even the joints are not attention seeking. The dog-walkers are constants. It warms my soul when I see Tony and Peter walk around with an armful of rubbish. The leftover debris of others is taken to the bins. We all get downhearted when people just dump stuff carelessly and thoughtlessly.

The kingdom of God is like…

Tony and Peter clean up the Tolka Park. Tony is exuberant every day, on the wonders of nature. Two of our severely sick parishioners (despite heavy treatment) made their way into Mass yesterday, helped by their neighbours. The outburst of prayer at the collapse of Christian Eriksen was moving. Romulu Lukaku’s dedication of his two goals to his colleague was special. David was very emotional at our Mass yesterday on Eriksen. Andrea Bocelli’s Nessun Dorma at the opening ceremony of the Euros in Rome on Friday warmed the cockles of the heart.

The rendition of The Lark Ascending (Vaughan Williams) with Jean Whang (BBC4 on Sunday) was inspirational. George Meredith must be so happy with The Poem. I was sent (by Séamus eile) Handel’s Messiah, The Hallelujah Chorus, with The Mormon Tabernacle Choir and it demanded a soul response. I was also reminded of Gerry Hughes’ book from way back The God of Surprises. And CS Lewis’ Surprised by Joy and Wordsworth’s poem with the same title.

I was brought back to my childhood (in my thoughts) where life was full of woods and trees and firewood. We also had, or thought we had, the tallest tree in Ireland (Curraghmore Estate) but that has now been passed or surpassed by the Douglas Fir in Powerscourt which is 60 metres high. Trees and paths through the woods were a source of God’s revelation in the playground of our youth. I was recalling too (as a child) setting spuds, onions, cabbages, carrots and parsnips. I expected to go out the following morning to see them grown. Mary (at Mass) spoke of seeing new life with every baby for Christening. Yes. The kingdom is everywhere if we open the eyes of our hearts and imagination. The blind man of the Gospel is each of us.



The Euros are on. England is full of talent (especially our own two – Jack and Declan!) but are very fearful lest the combined and collective talent doesn’t explode into life. Novak Djokovic beat Stefanos Tsitsipas in the French Open. Stefanos wrote afterwards of the death of his grandmother (five minutes before the Final). She was a wise woman. She made him dream. Galway won. Waterford won. Kilkenny didn’t! The England cricket team had a bad few days. Jonathan Caldwell has his first European win in golf. Leona Maguire did well after leading the first day and then slipping but she came back.


The G7…

Boris glowed with bonhomie. Joe punctured some of that with the earlier dressing down by the ambassador. Carbis Bay was a beautiful setting in Cornwall. Two words somewhat torpedoed the sessions. Respect and Trust. Boris plays to the gallery of whichever moment he is in. But can he be trusted? Even Matthew Parris (a former Tory MP) tells us that Boris reaps what he sows. He has disrespected most of those leaders previously. He is playful about everyone. He says what seems good at the time. But his words live on. People remember who he was and who he is. Macron wasn’t all wrong. Even the phrase The United Kingdom and Northern Ireland, says something. It may not quite be Crimea but the whole concept of N Ireland is an anomaly. The historic annexation is not a figment of anyone’s imagination and not even Macron’s. I think the UK hardly wants it and the South doesn’t need it! Brexit only highlights the reality. The protocol cannot be glossed over. Joe Biden was rather clear on this. Overall however, the G7 meeting did show the great contrast between the Trump Administration and its divisiveness and Biden’s focus on the need for everyone to work together.

First Communions…

We had chaos here last week. A letter arrived from HQ Diocese. July 5th was given as the Opening Up date in the country. Therefore, it was possible from that date to go forward with Baptisms and with First Communions. Many have done so. The suggestion and advice was – be safe and wait for the Autumn for First Communions. The clamour was to go ahead. Everyone else was doing it. And so it wasn’t possible to reconcile the varying views. Our decision here in the parish was to wait. Sometimes it might have be easier to give in. However, there was also the little matter of recalling what Communion is about: A commitment to the local faith community where a family decides to become part of the active and worshipping parish. That is challenging.

Indi is very happy…

Her furniture has gone South. She has lots of space in the apartment. She is investigating everything. She is running and not just walking. Life is rich in possibilities. She could give out a list of what the Kingdom of God is like. Space especially. Trees and plants. Flowers and weeds. Air and water. Hills and valleys. Birds and animals. New discoveries. People. People. And more people. Places. Colours. She again wants baptism. She wants to be christened into the beauty and miracles of everyday existence. She wants to shout and scream in gratitude. For her again – it is a wonderful world. However, she is very clear; keep her away from the nurse and doctor. They do things that she doesn’t like.


Seamus Ahearne osa



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