Séamus Ahearne on love, nature, being professed and carrots for Indi!

If we only have love (Jacques Brel).


The love of an old couple:

The sun has appeared. It is rather brazen after deserting us for the summer. We treasure the past few days. Despite Covid and the Dublin threat, our spirits are lifted. We were even more ready for 1Cor at Mass on Wednesday 16th September. Young Betty danced her way into Church. She read with conviction. She did grow up and read ‘now I am a man.’ Some of us smiled. Dermot couldn’t restrain himself. We had a laugh. The illustration on the PowerPoint was of a local couple. Alicia and Mick. Mick had a hip operation. Alicia is blind and is in a wheelchair. The locals are impressed and inspired by the two of them. The smile on Alicia’s face and Mick’s loving care, tells us daily, all we want to know of love in I Cor 13. Alicia’s brother was the tenor Dermot Troy. But the song of Alicia and Mick in their love, has been music for us. Others spoke of love going on forever. They spoke too out of the loss of a husband/wife or parent. The word ‘love’ can be hurled around with abandon. We can be flippant in our usage. Even the ‘love of God for us’ and our ‘love of God’ can be trivialised. Love is serious, dangerous, demanding, deep, challenging, and troublesome. Our humanity cannot live/thrive without an awareness of the awesomeness of it all. Dermot mentioned that hope was now the one that is most needed. He is right. The News can stress us. We now control so little.

In love with nature:

I hobbled down to the Tolka this afternoon. I came at it from a different road. Everything seemed to be changed. As a cartoon shows: Is it a nine or a six? It depends on how you look at it. I met many ducks and magpies. My heron opted out and didn’t appear. I wanted to clear the cobwebs from my mind. My head had become cluttered over the week of non-walking. Now I like cobwebs. They are a work of art but lethal for some. Walking must be like any addiction. I was in the habit of the 6 am start. I took the same route every day. I liked it. Until I lost my understanding. During this afternoon’s walk; I met a fellow hobbler. Ger was out with his pack of dogs. He walks them for his neighbours. But he had fallen off a ladder some weeks back. He was walking on crutches this afternoon. As fellow hobblers, we chatted. Ger is always smiling. The sun shines wherever he is. As I walked, I noticed the bushes and trees and river. A leaf. The water flowing in a different way. The shafts of light. The shadow. It was invigorating. Liz (Parish Sister) led us in prayer this morning at the Parish Team Meeting on Gratitude. Indeed. We breathe out the stress and negativity. We breathe in freshness and beauty and wonder and goodness. Then we can see. Then we can sing. Then we can talk of God. Then we are graced. My grasshopper mind began thinking…….



A strange love affair:

Today is the 16th September. For many of us in the Augustinians, it was Profession Day. 1964 was the beginning of Novitiate in Orlagh. I was Professed on the 16th September 1965. This day leads to a reflection on all those years as Augustinians. A rum lot. I suppose. We are. It also reminds me of my trip to Yola Diocese Nigeria for the Golden Jubilee when I reminisced on the history of the mission. A rum lot (those missionaries) and yet somehow the mission was blessed in a miraculous way. My own life danced before me, those many places – and the people who surrounded me. The wonder of God; the blessedness of the company along the way. The nonsense and the fun. The banter and the arguments. The challenges and the provocation. The scrum we shared in faith. The disagreements. The encouragement. The inspiration. The stupidity. Our collective foolishness. The frustration. The privilege. It all goes on. There are times when I want to scream ……. But overall, I feel very humble and replete with gratitude. Fresh air and walking can do strange things to me.


Is Christ alive in our News?

The News: We hear of rumours spreading like wildfire. Fire is very wild at present in Oregon, California and up into Canada. Barbados is sensibly removing the Queen as Head of State. Pat Smullen has died and is remembered fondly and with admiration by many. Tony McCoy even cried. Liverpool were lucky to beat Leeds. Hamilton survived to win another Formula 1 race in Italy. Ed Miliband revelled in making Boris look like a second hand con man (Guardian). Dublin is caught at 2 ½ for Covid. We are nervous and fearful. Trump claims to have ‘up-played covid.’ Boris shows contempt for the rule of law in the Brexit discussions. A driverless car was involved in a fatal accident; the operator is charged.

Indi loves life:

Indi will be six months on Monday. She is definitely opinionated. The phone rings each night. I wonder what her new speech adventure will entail. She loves words. She loves the excitement of anything new. She wasn’t too sure when ‘the adults’ put sweet potato into her mouth. She accepted it as new. But then they arrived with carrots. That wasn’t good. She showed her distaste for that rather immediately. She is mesmerised by the wind and the air. She can’t grasp why or how it is there and she can’t catch a hold of it. She chases shadows too. They appear. She swings her arms to catch them but they are gone. She doesn’t understand that one. She loves colours and anything she can then cling onto. She is a smart lady and wants to taste everything. Her biggest comment is this one: “I have seen so much over those six months. Every day is a new journey into the unknown. Adults are very strange. They don’t get as excited about new things as I do. I look forward every day to a new world opening up for me. Life is wonderful but something is happening in my mouth that I don’t like. I hear the ma and the da talk about teeth. I don’t know what they are and I don’t like them.”

Seamus Ahearne osa





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