By Peg Prendeville

Sincere sympathies are extended to Ita Mullane, Knockdown and her family on the death of her nephew Denis Fitzgerald, Glensharrold, Athea, this week. May he rest in peace.

It was interesting to watch the programme on Abbeyfeale on Monday night last. It had stories of humour and sadness, was sometimes silly and sometimes profound. Just like life.

 “Stop the world and let me off, I’m tired of going round and round.” This is the line of a song by Merle Haggard and sung by many over the years. Well, I think those words have been heard because it seems as if the whole world has slowed down in the past few weeks. And I must confess that I am enjoying it. I am very aware that many people are very stressed over the lack of income and more are working twice as hard as they ever did but at this point in my life it has come as a

kind of blessing. It seems to me that there are many who have the time now to do little jobs which were waiting to be done; houses and gardens are getting badly needed makeovers and everybody has time to stop and have a break as tomorrow is yet to come with more time to do more jobs. The fine weather is a great bonus too. I know this physical distancing is a pain and not good in the long term ( it is the thing I miss most) and I know the economy is suffering but I think the planet earth is taking a breather and is all the better for it. Is this God’s way of saving the world even though it looks the opposite? Many people have their hearts broken at the untimely death of loved ones and they find it hard to see light at the end of the tunnel. But I firmly believe that God, or whatever name you call the higher power, can bring good from all this if we have the patience and courage to see it through. One of  St Teresa of Seville’s most famous teachings is a poem known as “Teresa’s Bookmark” that was found in her own prayer book after her death:

Let nothing disturb you.
Let nothing upset you.
Everything changes.
God alone is unchanging.
With patience all things are possible.
Whoever has God lacks nothing.
God alone is enough. 

We must try and trust and hope in this even though we hardly know the month we are in never mind the day of the week. All this extra time is bringing out the creativity in people too as there are lots of poems and songs doing the rounds on Facebook and Whattsapp since this virus spread. Families are connecting through Zoom and some are more in touch than they were prior to this through bingo and quizzes between families. In fact I saw on the news where a man proposed to his girlfriend via Zoom in the presence of their families. So already we can see the changes to which we will have to get adjusted