Kevin Myers: We have a civilisation to remake -- and with dignity
The swallows finally departed on the last day of September, when the air was still warm, and vast, silver cascades of tiny flies shimmered in the morning sun.
And now, as the financial shadows darken over our land, and it is easier to talk of doom than of hope, we should take great solace from what we have. We are lucky to live on this island, with all the space that we have, and our clean Atlantic air, and the greenness of our largely unpeopled acres. Hundreds of millions of individuals across the world live in the horrors of a megalopolis, with strangers' cloacas just feet away in every direction. There is no one in Ireland who is more than 40 minutes from either a field of grass or a sea-shore.
In almost every respect, other than in the conduct of those who have managed our money, Ireland has been a wonderful country to live in over the first three seasons of 2010. I saw dawn on January 1, a moment of wondrous beauty such as would bring cheer to a dungeon. The full moon was plummeting into the western horizon like a cold sun, casting long shadows with its pale-blue light. The real sun rose to the south-east even before the moon was gone, reversing the shadows in a single fiery instant, and an icy light of pale acetylene was suddenly replaced from the opposite horizon with a warm and amber glow, over a landscape of shimmering snow and crystalline thorn.