The last time I was away on a sun holiday it dawned on me how incongruous we are as a race. We swarm to the beauty spots of the world, or at least to the ones we can afford, and proceed to destroy them with our demands. We would all probably acknowledge that the sun setting in a bright orange glow over a deep blue bay, mountains in the background, is a wonderful sight, good for the soul even. So what do we do with these amazing places? Visit, admire, inhale and leave it as we found it?
Not at all, we demand high rise apartment blocks that must surely enrage the locals, despite providing them with a good summer income. We go for our week away and leave having drunk the place dry. The environmental footprint on those golden sands is surely large. And the noise! Groups of ladies on hen weekends cackle at each other in high pitched, over excited voices, afraid that if they don’t, they may look as if they’re not having enough fun. Add to that the crowd of Hooray Henrys let out to play for a ‘lads’ weekend by their grateful partners; I’ve noticed that men away from their natural habitat for a few days become rather patriotic. They wail through versions of songs about home they’ve heard some old bloke in their local singing. And they give it socks, full throttle patriotism; it doesn’t seem to matter which country they come from, they all make much the same sound.
So what to do about the beauty spots? Is there a way to preserve them for those who appreciate sunsets, those who love the sound of birdsong and the waves rushing up the shore, those who are sated by the smell of the sea? Perhaps there are places than can be saved. Maybe the ones that are built up and noisy are necessary. They may be the perfect places for people to let their stress out, in the only way they know how. We are not all alike, who am I to say what way people should deal with their lives? Okay, I’ve convinced myself that some beauty spots can and should be sacrificed for the greater good………I think I can feel a verse of The Aul Triangle coming on….sing up Damo!
Sweet Summer by Anne Elizabeth Bevan
Children flourish on pebbled beach.
A piñata of mild memories
come to me; tiny waves of
acid words erode their innocence.
A lemon pastiche hangs limply
in ice cold water.
Bring me my dreams.
They are mine to savour, taken
from the darkness to delight.
A future beauty swings back and forth
exchanging a bite of summer
for a platter of life.
Fly little bird.
A sparkle of blue in orange casing.
A Child frets, while her pot-bellied mother
swigs from a can.
Mountain faces turn to the sky,
features grizzled. A thousand eyes
twinkle in relief. Twenty John Player Blue
and a plastic glass, adorn the wicker table.
My dreams take me beyond
the castle walls. Satin green
shutters shelter and rattan chairs
remind me of Peru; snapshots
in my mind of places been, of
pictures seen, dreams all,
manifested in a troubled mind.