By Geraldine Conlon

Wasted resources

When we think of our community,
What is it that makes it ours?

Is it our local shop,
That hasn’t been opened in two years.
Is it the houses that we live in,
That show the wear from all the years.
Is it the scenery that surrounds us,
The mountains standing proud.
The green fields upon our doorsteps, the litter on the ground.
Is it the buildings all around us and the services that they provide or is it the access to everything in little more than a half hour’s drive.

What is it that convinces us to volunteer in chasing time. To help preserve our resources, feeling I’m wasting mine.
Is it really all the structures that makes it all so great or is there something else that keeps us holding Faith.
I think it is the people.
Just a familiar face.
Another volunteered member of this the human race.
It’s people like Alice Kelly.
“Glenshane’s silent warrior”
It’s what she does everyday that she sees as simply not a bother.
It’s the likes of Tracy Boylan and her willingness to get stuck in.
The blessings of her green fingers that keep things neat and trim.
It’s the likes of Robbie Conlon.
Jobstown community centre manager, and the time he put in with the youths just to keep the centre opened later.
It’s the kindness of our shopkeepers who’ll ask about your day.
It’s your neighbours you haven’t seen since yesterday that still stop to just say hey.
Or is it simply just our ice cream man,
Unique in his own way.
Keeping adults and kids alike both happy on the long hot summers days.

There’s one thing I know for sure and that’s that our community won’t survive,
if we all remain content with hiding out inside
The collective’s mentality of “who cares:
once I can shut my own front door”
Really needs to change as its not helping us anymore.
If I could have one wish that came with a guarantee. I’d wish more community members, normal Joe’s like you and me.
Would choose to play their part, take back our own responsibility because let’s be brutally honest we’re no-one else’s priority.
We need to learn to trust again in the success that we could have if we could share a sense of unity, and remember to have a laugh.
I know what you are thinking, that’s some dream more than a wish but let me put it simply like this.
If you were to ask the children, ” What do you feel about your estate”, I doubt it very much they’ll be all screaming out “It’s great”.
Now take the time to recall what it was like for you growing up? And we have the cheek as adults to say the kids theses days have all the luck!
So let’s say we just forget the reasons that keep us all apart and build on understanding, Everyone deserves a fresh start.
Let’s do it for the kids around us they’ve had a rough few years, let’s make some happy memories for them to help them survive an adult tears.
Excuse my way of thinking if it seems a bit too much but the importance of this wish to me I just can’t express enough.
I want pride back in amongst my community
I want reasons to celebrate, I want to know neighbours again a cuppa at the garden gate.

So class me as a chancer or nutjob and the rest but you can’t blame me for trying to do my best. So if we share a madness and you feel the same as me, please reach out and find me as I need the company.