Posted by Ronan Scully in Features.

I spent last weekend watching, in awe and thanksgiving, Shane Lowry win the Bridgestone Golf tournament, and the celebrations that followed in the little town of Clara, where we are both from. Although my nerves were completely shattered and the candles I lit nearly burned the house down, it made me think about how we celebrate during times of celebration.


I found myself pondering the standard things people would associate with the word celebration—parties, people, fun, laughter, championship and election wins, gala balls and dances, song, music, drink, food and, usually, more foo! Perhaps even applause and awards. Dressing up or even dressing down, sleeping too little, maybe even not sleeping at all! People talking with others or even seeing something very special and unique, like one of our own being made leader of our country.

Weddings are celebrations too. A couple standing side by side at the front of a small church, filled with the excitement and trepidation about a life about to be journeyed together, with friends and family bearing witness.

A child’s first birthday is a celebration I have enjoyed twice in the past. One large candle on a cake, one glowing smiling face and two small hands, along with lots of other small hands from new friends, reaching out at new things. Eyes wide, hands pulling and tugging and the expert guiding of such a large chunk of cake into such a small mouth! Presents wrapped and torn open. Flashes of light from the cameras of family and friends that capture the moment so the event can be celebrated over and over again.

Other celebrations are less noticeable. The smile from the shop attendant who gives you your daily paper. The concerned and thoughtful questions of your family doctor, your local Garda, postman or curate. The patience of the person behind us in the queue as we sort out our financial queries with the bank assistant. The chef in the local restaurant who remembers how you like your steak or know that you want a baby dinner and want it ready as quick as possible!

Or, as I found recently, the stranger in the doctor’s waiting room that entertains your energetic and restless youngster while you wait your turn.

These frequently occurring moments—if we pay attention to them and honour them—fill our hearts and touch our souls. They are moments that invite us to feel what it is to be human in our ordinary everyday lives, in the presence of another equally ordinary human being, in the creation of a magical moment, whatever you are wearing and whoever you are with.

Thought for the week

As your thought for this week, think of something important that has happened in your life, whether recently or in the past, big or small, and celebrate it this week with family and friends. Life is so short, it is important to make the most of every occasions. Well done to Shane Lowry and all his family and friends in the little town of Clara!