Category: Archive

Editorial: here comes summer

February 16, 2011

By Staff Reporter

It’s hazy, hot and humid in the eastern U.S., the west is ablaze in the midst of a drought and it’s been raining cats and dogs across the water in Ireland. Must be summer.

The warmest season is indeed a contrasting spectacle depending on which side of the Atlantic you are standing. In Ireland, midsummer traditionally falls on June 21. In the U.S., that day is the traditional beginning of summer. Given the relative climates, the latter assignation would appear to be on the money.

The arrival of summer should be cause for at least a little idle contemplation. The kids are out of school and the days are hazy, though, in our ever more hectic world, not quite as lazy as they have been in summers past.

Summer is a time to relax and allow some of those colder day anxieties to evaporate in the enveloping warmth. Sadly, we live in especially anxious times. The echoes of Sept. 11 are still with us and will only take firmer hold of our imagination as the summer of 2002 reaches toward the fall and the first anniversary of that terrible day.

The troubles of the world span borders and are caused by them. July, a high point of summer whether it follows the middle of the season or just after it’s official beginning, is both a time of marching in, and flight from, Northern Ireland, the latter activity being directly as a result of the former.

We can only hope that in the coming weeks in Northern Ireland, cooler heads will prevail, regardless of the weather. Nobody should be forced to pray for a deluge in mid-July unless they are farmers with thirsty crops, and in Ireland that is not the case.

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History, of course, pays scant heed to the seasons. The Battle of the Boyne could just as easily have been fought on Jan. 12. But it wasn’t and, as a result, all too many people in Northern Ireland think of magnificent July in somewhat negative terms.

July, of course, has a different side to it in America, a country more united than its smaller cousin to the east when it comes to accepting the virtues of complete independence.

With June almost gone and July ahead, it is probably too early to contemplate August. But it’s never too early to contemplate a more peaceful time, sunsets that carry into the night and long days that remind us that some of the best things in this world really are free.

A summer day is to the fore among them.

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