Shenanigans Sa Sneachta (Shenanigans in the Snow)
March is a month of joy. The landscape is filled with a wide spectrum of colours of rusty reds and a palette of wonderful browns from chocolate barks to dried crunchy sandy leaves & a skyline speckled with silhouettes of bare trees waving in the breeze, each perfectly framed with all forty shades of green of the emerald isle hillside and fields.
Spring is in the air and each day lengthens & steals hours of darkness which shortens each night; it’s a seasonal cycle of growth and reduction stretching until June 21st. Then roles are reversed and the night thieves from day.
March brings light, warmth, growth; a new energy as the world creeps out of its long cold winter sleep.
Life begins to unfold as Snowdrops and daffodils (as the song goes) appear, each pop of vibrant colour brings new promise. Everyday new buds, leaves, and flowers push through the surface. What a joy SPRINGTIME is.
Or is it?
March 2018 delivered a new vista as Ireland experienced a once in a 30 year event as a deep blanket of Sneachta (Irish word for Snow) transformed the landscape of reds, browns and greens to a sea of pure virgin white. The Red weather warnings had come, “stock up with food and stay indoors”, they said. By many nations’ standards the amount of snow which fell was small, but for a nation who rarely gets it, anything other than a light feathering causes much disruption.
After the “Beast from the East” storm had passed many people ventured outside and so began the obligatory snowball fights and numerous creative constructions of snowmen & women, igloos, cars and animals.
It was then time for skis and sleighs to be moulded from recycled materials and then the nearest hill beckoned. If the adrenaline from the hill wasn’t sufficient to get the rush, nothing better than to tie their sleigh to the back of a four wheel drive or a range of other machines which could move in snow.
All the shenanigans was captured on an endless stream of videos on Facebook with inventive ways of pulling sleighs which included electric bikes, horses and even lawnmowers (cutting edge stuff lol).
For a brief few days the island was still and peaceful, neighbours, friends & strangers all ensured one another were safe and warm, had food and water, someone to talk to, somewhere to stay or go for a walk with. Who would have guessed that so many people could spend so much time talking face to face and not on a phone or computer.
Us humans are pack animals, we love company but we just don’t allow ourselves to experience it too often anymore and it was so special. Technology is great and has helped us so much but in our day to day lives it can’t beat a snowball fight with friends.
Ding dong, the doorbell rings. It’s friends from next door “Are ya coming out to play?” Mick only had to ask once. Boots, jacket, hat, gloves, scarf - it was party time (And by party, I mean snowball throwing :).
"Bain taitneamh as an sneachta! (enjoy the snow)", we said.
No walking tours those few days but we had plenty of fun with Magic in the air