We wish all our members and their families a very Happy Easter. This is like no other Easter you’ve celebrated before, cocooning maybe, and isolated from family and friends. All around us nature is marching on and spring is busy bursting forth with new life. A family of robins has taken up home in my shed and the garden is full of birdsong. All we can do is observe and enjoy all this from a distance.

But as you already know, from many years of living, nothing stays the same and this too will pass. In the meantime it’s important to keep positive, safe and healthy. Thanks to Joy Bibby who has introduced us to some of her favourite pieces of music and helped to focus our minds on the positive.

Our featured image of the hens was taken on a recent trip to Ballymaloe House and Gardens by Pauline O’ Brien AIPF and reminds us of great days, great outings and trips and that, not long from now, we will be able to meet up, chat and enjoy normal life again.

We give thanks to all those who work on the frontline in hospitals, shops, surgeries or wherever keeping us safe and healthy.

I leave you with this beautiful Easter blessing by the late John O’ Donoghue.

“On this Easter morning, let us look again at the lives we have been so generously given and let us let fall away the useless baggage that we carry — old pains, old habits, old ways of seeing and feeling — and let us have the courage to begin again. Life is very short, and we are no sooner here than it is time to depart again, and we should use to the full the time that we still have.

We don’t realize all the good we can do. A kind, encouraging word or helping hand can bring many a person through dark valleys in their lives. We weren’t put here to make money or to acquire status or reputation. We were sent here to search for the light of Easter in our hearts, and when we find it we are meant to give it away generously.

May the spirit and light of this Easter morning and the special spirit and light of this abbey at Corcomroe bless us all, watch over us and protect us on our journey, open us from the darkness into the light of peace and hope and transfiguration.”

John O’Donohue