On a day when Ireland was, for a moment, very loud, and very angry and the future seemed more unpredictable and volatile than ever before, there came, after nightfall, a moment of brief reprieve. A palpable stillness fell over the land and from the sky came a generous flurry of snow right on cue. I stood out on my balcony for a moment and was overwhelmed by the silence and beauty as the night sky was filled with swirling flakes of white.
Then the silence was broken. But this time it was a different kind of loud energy. Revelers emerged from pubs, and children scrambled from houses, and all descended on the square outside my apartment to throw snowballs, to skate, to slide, to make snowmen and to fall on the ground and roll around with reckless abandon. Four men, no doubt fueled by a steady nights intake of stout, stood on the corner and sang Irish ballads, prompting one child to do an impromptu jig around them, in defiance of the deadly slick of ice across the street. It was a surreal and wonderful scene. Some European brethren built a mighty snowman, whilst local kids tried to engage all and everyone in an exchange of snowy artillery, all set to the sound of a drunken, but sincere rendition of “The Fields of Athenry”.
I glanced over at Twitter, and someone had remarked that the IMF delegation was seen leaving Dublin Airport, having finalized their deal with our Government. As their private jet arched up into the sky through the snow, I wondered if when they looked out the windows they saw anything like we mere mortals do when we see a blanket of white across the land. Or do they just see numbers and figures and calculations to be adjusted? Regardless, whatever they and our political masters do to us, they can’t take the snow.
It is a testament to the mystery that is the sum totality of the Universe than in order to have politicians, and debt, and greed, and fear, and anger you must also have silence, and snow, and snowball fights, and laughter, and song, and children dancing at 1 in the morning. Don’t ever forget it.