Members of Mayo E-Live- the Castlebar/Ballinrobe environmental group- hosted a tree planting ceremony in the grounds of the Sacred Heart Hospital at 2.30p.m on the afternoon of Sunday December 21st (The Winter Solstice) to celebrate mid winter.
Claire O Malley, The Neale gave a reflection on the mid winter ritual mid going back over 3,000 years to pre-Christian times. This was followed by the lighting of a candle by Paddy Cully, Castlebar- Chairperson of Mayo E-Live, to represent the coming of light and the lengthening of the day.
Mairin Ní Mhurchú Killasser conducted a spiritual interlude to mark the occasion. Brían Hoban, Castlebar gave a short presentation on the reason why Mayo E-Live decided to mark the occasion of mid winter with the planting of trees, namely to bring some light and joy into the lives of the residents of the Sacred Heart Hospital.
The trees planted were nine white-barked silver birches (Betula jacquemontii) supplied by Charlie Shaw, Turlough Nurseries. Brían concluded by reading the much-loved nature poem -"Trees" by Joyce Kilmer - which so many learned at school and is fondly remembered by all.
"I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree,
A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
Against the Earth's sweet, flowing breast;
A tree that looks at God all day.
And lifts her leafy arms to pray,
A tree that may in summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair;
Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
Who intimately lives with rain.
Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree."
Ellen Finnerty, Ballinrobe gave a short talk on the uses of trees and the wildlife associated with them- birds, insects etc. Deirdre Hogan, Ballinrobe read the much-loved Irish poem "Cill Chais" - mourning the disappearance of trees from our landscape.
The planting of the trees was co-ordinated by Susie Fry, Castlebar ably assisted by fellow members of Mayo E-Live George Peterseil, Castlebar, Brían Hoban, Castlebar and Mark Garavan, Castlebar.
Speaking on behalf of the staff and residents of the Sacred Heart Hospital Catherine Clarke Asst. Matron, thanked the members of the environmental group for providing the beautiful trees for the enjoyment of residents and staff of the hospital and hoped the visitors to the facility would also appreciate them.
It is hoped that the occasion of the planting of these beautiful trees will remind us all of the responsibility we all have to protect and enhance the world around us. Please remember over the holiday period our responsibility towards the environment and dispose of refuse carefully.
REDUCE, RE-USE AND RECYCLE. IT'S EASY TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE.
Mayo E-Live is an environmental group whose aims are of the promotion of sustainable development and environmental awareness and is funded jointly by the Department of the Environment and Local Government and Mayo County Council under the Local Environmental Partnership Fund 2003.
Brían Hoban, P.R.O Mayo E-Live.