A few weeks ago, I was on my lunch break, walking by the river, in the rain, in Galway. I went there every work day for my break. That particular day I saw my first swallows of 2016. I immediately posted a photo on Facebook excitedly announcing that summer had arrived. I then went back to work and told all my colleagues the Good News.
Today, as my family sat and drank tea, we listened to the swallows and watched them return to examine the site of last year’s nest, and we marvelled at the magic of these birds that return generation after generation to the same spot.
I grew up in the countryside surrounded my agriculture and the beauty and importance of the cycle of the year. I am very glad of that, and every year, as the ash trees bud, and the oak comes into leaf, and the blackthorn flowers, and the swallows return to Ireland, I feel like saying Rejoice! Rejoice! Summer is here.