Easter comes every year, though unlike, for example Christmas, Easter is a less certain date. Often you might hear the comment, "So when is Easter this year ?" I reflect on our present world, that the influence of 'new moons' and the Christian storyline in its ancient calendar still effect when our Easter weekend, Bank holiday, and timeout with family and friends in an ultra modern age gets its date.
It is for me, like many others a very lovely time of the year. Winter is usually most definitely OVER; we are safe from that. Sunlight is filling more of our waking hours, summer is still un-opened like a gift to receive soon. And it's a long weekend worth planning a little, no matter how much you have to spend. It's family, it's friends, it's possible nice weather, it's chill, it's bright, it's a new start, without the burden of new year resolutions!
For some it's deeper meaning becomes an anchor for all of the above. Easter is a story, that still is unfolding, that is if you've managed to embrace a faith journey, and as silly as it might sound to many, believe in a Mercy and outrageous Kindness, that is a bit more than our human story. And then Faith, Hope and Love, with Love being the greatest help to move beyond much uncertainty and give hope and dare I say Joy a new foothold.
I have to admit I need this anchor.
Meanwhile late on Friday night (Good Friday as it's sometimes referred) while heading home across town I became enveloped it a beautiful fragrance while waiting for a 'green man' at the lights on Kennedy Avenue. Hundreds of tulips planted and in full bloom in the centre of town (well almost the centre) were giving me a hint of their presence in the hues of reds and greens of traffic minders. I wondered, how can I photograph that smell in full bloom in morning light ?
And of course there is no photograph, well at least not from me, that could ever do nature justice in its power and simplicity.
Not all that early, on Saturday day morning I wondered back to the same place, and just for the record shot off a few frames. And more than anything else I wanted to acknowledge the hands and service of those who cleared, prepared, and sowed this great sight, a the team at Carlow Town Council. A simple and beautiful space there for a while, as they bloom over Easter and afterward for all passers by.
While it's just flowers and colour and fragrance, it's as they say 'the simple things'.
While wondering around in the early afternoon I met a very beautiful young girl, Barbara. dressed in a pretty coat and hat. Carrying a festive basket, she caught my eye. Walking very content with her parents, Dad, Rafal and Mum, Joanna Pietka, it turned out they were heading to join many other local Polish families at the main Cathedral in Carlow town centre for a Easter Saturday Food Blessing service. I was learning new things.
As it turned out I stumbled into a large group of Polish families on their way to the service, a service I was unaware of. Families together, with many kids with hand made baskets decorated to mark the event, celebrating together as family and indeed community. I took great delight in taking little Barbara's image, as she was assured by her parents, this is ok .
Finally a little after sunrise on Easter Sunday I visited the very old Christian site at Killeshin along with some of the hill top views looking to the Blackstairs mountains in the South of the County, and of course the beautiful morning on the river Barrow at Milford.