It’s often on street walls that you see the most profound messages.
Given all the debate that is going on about ‘global warming’ right now, I feel that this particular message that has been on an old wall in New Street in Waterford City for a while now is very pertinent.
It always has the effect of making me acutely aware of the way in which moving into abstrations can distance us from things that we are enveloped in- both as contibutors and victims. Yes, this certainly brings out the nature-loving sociologist in me!
Walking along the Quay in Waterford City ~ the oldest city in Ireland ~ is one of my favourite things to do early on a Sunday morning.
The River Suir is nearing its long journey to the sea by the time it reaches Waterford and today I started further down the Estuary on my way to Waterford. The sun was just about getting up and all was still:
The Suir was all agleam when I got to Waterford and, as always, my eyes were drawn to Rice Bridge which holds such significance for me in terms of ‘coming home’ to Tramore, especially from Dublin.
The skyline of the City, taken in the morning light, evokes a real sense of the immensity of the history of Waterford, spanning back the centuries.
When Waterford blood runs through your veins, it’s always glorious to see this blue and white banner!
The names of the boats moored along the Quay are one of my fascinations. Today, it was Agile that got me reflecting.
Clearly, boats need agility to cope with the vagaries of the sea. But, humans need an immense amount of both physical and mental agility to navigate their way through life.
There are certain scenes that spell ‘home’ for me and one of them is crossing Rice Bridge in Waterford City and looking along the full length of the Quay. I especially like it when the River Suir is at high tide, as it was very early this morning.
I write this post in response to a recent article in the Irish Timesby Kathy Sheridan which had the title THE UNSUNNY SOUTHEAST.
Essentially, it is an article about the decline of Waterford City; its high unemployment rate; loss of jobs; lack of university status; ‘distress and decimation;’and a little after -thought about shoots of hope.
Waterford City may not be thriving but it seems to me that an appreciation of what we have is being eroded by a sense of doom and gloom, self-pity and, dare I say it, loss of pride in our place.
Waterford City is stunningly beautiful, built along the River Suir, and with a long, long history that is the envy of towns and cities around the entire world.
Yes, Waterford has had periods when it was thriving ~ such as when Waterford Glass was in its glory days. Those days have passed, just as the waters of the Suir have flowed on. In many ways, the lure of Waterford Glass tended to divert attention from the extent to which Waterford City is a gateway to a magical county.
It is time for everyone associated with Waterford City and County to recognise what we have; to support local in every possible way. There are hundreds of businesses and organisations throughout the City and County which are doing excellent work and providing services second to none. They need to be nurtured and encouraged and given more and more reasons for hope and expansion.
This is the time when the people of Co. Waterford as a whole must do more than stand together. We must take steps to showcase this precious jewel that is our place.
The old saying ‘success breeds success’is one that must be carved on every single Waterford heart and let’s watch together as the sun radiates hope and prosperity across a city and county that has such incredible potential to blossom.