I’m starting to look for signs of Spring. Bluer blues, brighter whites, dazzling yellows. Soon the Spring stars of the show will have the limelight all to themselves in the dormant landscape.
It’s the 100th Anniversary of our Easter Rising, the Rebellion of 1916 that led to the setting up of the Irish Republic. Because many of the leaders were artists they had a visionary view of a free Ireland and one which has been passed on through poetry and myth.
I wonder today, would I have been a part of it? A bloody, messy, violent rebellion? An occupation of the GPO, a fight to the death? Would I have carried a gun like some women, run messages like my grand aunt, treated the wounded like the nurses who risked everything to heal? Would I have been like most of the citizens of Ireland at the time, ambivalent or even angry with them because of the disruption and the futility of it?
The Rising itself turned out to be a mere skirmish to the English. Dublin woke up to the rounding up of suspects and the pulverising of the City by the British Army. Although the insurgents had surrendered, the subsequent execution of their leaders turned the general public back in favour of the rebels’ dream. Within a few years Ireland would have finally broken away from the British Empire and begun the real journey towards Independence. We are still somewhere on that road in many ways…..
And even if a bloody insurrection was not the best way to negotiate our liberation, I am here, a testament to the freedom of being a citizen of a Republic. Free to live in peace in the quietest patch of ground. Free to agree or disagree and express my views. Free to explore the meaning and the legacy of it all.
One hundred years later, this Easter Sunday, I am looking out for signs of Spring, with humble gratitude.
For those of you unfamiliar with the Easter Rising Story here is the essence of it in a short 3 minute video narrated by Liam Neeson
It’s interesting to wonder how and if we would have showed up in past struggles, but your time there is now, to be and do all that you can. And you are really rocking these big, glorious images … I’ll thank you each and every time.
Susan, I think we all made a good stab at creating a better world in the 1960s and 70s. Little did we know that love and peace wouldn’t really catch on with the powers that be? And isn’t the freedom we have now all about rocking our own thing and benefitting for the changes we did make? It goes on……
Donna@Living From Happiness says
I watched the 2 part special narrated by Liam Neeson about the Uprising. I was struck by how the Ireland uprising was similar to the American Revolution… a bloody uprising for freedom. And I was also struck by the fact that nothing is taught about the Easter Rising in American schools which is too bad, given there are millions of Irish here descended from many who took part. I have several rebels in my Irish ancestry from that time period….I tend to think of myself as a rebel too.
Donna that’s really interesting. Yes the influence of the American Declaration of Independence was obviously very important to them. I didn’t realise you had a few rebels in the cupboard…..join the club! The complicated history of the time shows up in most families as a mixture of religions, sides, loyalties, that continue to this day. In a way I was thinking it’s the complications and contradictions that make us so resilient as a tribe? Always managing to understand the dark and the light. (Being a rebel is so attractive to us too!!) Thanks for sharing…..x
Thank you for posting about this. I am just about to sit and listen to a special edition on the CBC radio with Michael Enright in Dublin. I remember standing in front of the GPO in Dublin and wondering the same thoughts as you. We live in different times indeed and I am proud to have Irish in my blood for many of the reasons you speak of. Happy Easter…Happy Spring! lovely photos as usual!
Catherine Drea says
Hi Kerry, so that’s where you got your beautiful name? Lovely to hear about your feelings of pride…….Now we must really live up to those 1916 ideals of equality and freedom here in Ireland. 100 years later I feel we are really getting back on the right road there have been so many positive changes……and still more to do! Happy Easter to you too!
The Uprising has featured quite a lot over the past week in papers and on CBC radio here. So many Canadians can trace their heritage to Ireland – the interest is natural and personal. It is hard to look back and justify such violence and sacrifice from the safety and wisdom of hindsight, but the proof is in what you say about living in freedom and peace. I am sure it was what all those brave and reckless people hoped and dreamed for their children and grandchildren in 1916.
Thanks for that. I think that’s all true. It’s almost impossible to imagine their lives under the “Empire” as they saw it. Times change and ways of negotiating settlements develop. The new Northern Ireland structures probably prove that…….although many would say that nothing is perfect and still more lives were lost……so many layers of complexity…….
A very thoughtful post. History teaches us so much, if we are open to learning. My Mr is of Irish decent, third generation in America. I will share the video/history with him. Gorgeous photos Catherine!
Lovely that he will see what it’s all about! I’ve been learning that something we Irish certainly carry is the ability to tolerate and hold contradictions and complexities!! And hence the thoughtfulness!! Thank you for being here on this auspicious week in our history and Greetings to himself x
There’s always a magic between your words and images. And now, for ever, the shaky history will resonate with the brilliant hues of the irish spring.
Catherine Drea says
So beautifully said…thank you so much x