Honest to God, sometimes I wonder why I live here. Why is it that I choose to live on this tiny wind-swept, rain-drenched island of ours in the middle of the Atlantic? In winter I usually accept our lot in respect of the Irish weather seeing as I would be a deluded fool to think that the elements might be anything other than offensive. But it is springtime, has been for a while, and really should I not be entitled to alter my expectations? Apparently not. It has been raining incessantly now for the past 24 hours.
For the corners of the country not under water or snow, there is the wind. A wind so cutting that any meek attempt to address it would rob you of voice and vigour. It baffles me how we got to be in receipt of the most beautiful landscape in the world but burdened with a climate that will not showcase it. We own a sky whose stubbornness does not stop for the seasons, whose audacity resists all the rules and whose arrogance recklessly refuses to adhere and lift its dreary derriere from our famous forty shades.
But then I think of those who don't have the luxury of choosing to live here. I think of those who have had to leave this rain-drenched, wind-swept isle of ours in the middle of the Atlantic, to work instead on the red soils of scorched countries far and away from any ocean. I think of the parents left behind not knowing when their offspring will return or for what reason. I think of the children born in adopted lands who will never know their native land and I think of the fragmentation, the isolation and the loneliness of all who have been separated by the god that is economics.
What must it feel like to live in a land that is not your own? What must it feel like to release old traditions and familiar routines to replace them with new ones? And what must it feel like knowing your time in this new strange place is an indefinite quantity from which there may be no return? Simply put, I cannot answer because I do not know.
I will no doubt continue to complain about the weather, still fume at the gods for giving with one hand and taking with the other and no doubt I will continue to wonder why I live here. But what I will never do is take for granted the privilege that I can. Yes, it would be nice to see a blue horizon; it would be nice to see the mist lift and I would greatly appreciate a break in the bleats of the Atlantic gales. But for those of you in places where the sun always shines yet who may well miss the taste of salt in the wind, you should know truly that you are missed so much more by those of us fortunate enough to remain behind.