As a child and teen, I was never an outdoors type of personl. I always hated it when my parents, and particularly my grandmother, would try to get me to give up the Sega Mega-Drive (I’m showing my age now), or later the PlayStation, and go outside to enjoy the beauty provided by nature.
To begin with, I wasn’t a sporty personl; so many of the typical outside activities – playing footie, hurling and the rest just didn’t interest me. I couldn’t understand their fascination with all things beyond the front door.
As I’ve matured (at least I like to think I have) things have changed. I work in a particularly dull job, sitting at a computer desk each day, for seven hours a day. And as if to cruelly tempt us, the office has wall length windows so that we can stare longingly out at the world we are missing.
The effect of this job has been to make me acutely aware of the value of being outside in, and with, nature. In the past I would always prefer the television and computer games to sunshine and fields, but now the former has lost virtually all appeal to me.
In Ireland, we are blessed with rain approximately every second day. I say blessed deliberately and with no trace of sarcasm because despite all the dull and damp days, it is genuinely worth it when we look at the alternatives.
However, despite all the benefits that a wet climate can bring, it also deprives us of the long sundrenched days that abound in such gorgeous places, as Italy and the south of France. We are all envious of their warm dry summers and spend literally millions travelling there and elsewhere in our yearly quest for the Sun.
So I’ve written this article to do just as my parents and grandparents once did and appeal to you not to waste the sun when it does come out.
Computer games can always be paused, saved and reloaded at will but the sun cannot. Unlike most television programmes, we can certainly say that in Ireland, it probably won’t be here next week.
Why wait for your holidays to appreciate the beauty of nature? Put down the controller or switch off Facebook and meet your friends in the real world right now. If you look outside your window, it may be pretty stunning.
I know that games and books can be enthralling, but they will still be here when our infamously unreliable sunshine isn’t, and hey if it is a book, there is nothing to stop you bringing it out to your local park or even a field. Walking may seem boring at first, but how many of us love to gossip?
I mean, they practically invented social networking sites just to facilitate it, so why not try and mix walking in the wonderful weather with your favourite pastime, by inviting friends? Is there anything better than juicy secrets? Yes – juicy secrets plus sunshine!
For the more sporting amongst you, this message may be a little redundant, but I encourage you also, not to take this rare opportunity for granted. Get your friends together… get them to get their friends to come along. Organise a tournament just for fun.
The beauty of nature is at its finest in the sunshine; I believe that we should appreciate it fully by going out into it and experiencing the great splendour of Ireland’s scenery and environment.