If you spend your whole life waiting for the storm, you’ll never enjoy the sunshine.

Morris West

We did enjoy the sunshine last week. Earlier in the week on the endless beaches of the Northwest. On our walk through Hamburg and lunch at Daniel Wischer, our favourite Hamburg Fish-Restaurant.

While we were walking through Hamburg we came across what the Germans call Stolpersteine. These are brass, golden-coloured street stones remembering the individuals and families who were deported and taken from their homes by the generation before mine, many of them never to be seen again.

At the time, many Germans believed that this was the right thing to do. The ‘others’ had to go, they had to be removed from society. They didn’t fit. Today, we remember them.

There are days when I feel tired and exhausted, physically and mentally. When I feel a humility in the face of tragedy of a scale and a closeness that I never realised existed.

I spent some time with an old friend of mine from across the big pond. We shared many thoughts and opinions about the world, about people, about love and about pain. Although I had not met my friend for more than a decade we connected almost immediately. Time disappeared. Pressure and stress disappeared for a while. We were immersed in deep, meaningful conversation. Whatever surrounded us lost its importance. I am sure that these deeply moving conversations will stay with me for a long time. Until we meet again.

There are also moments when the obvious really hits me in the face. That life is about living and that life is changing all the time. That we have to stay connected with the world around us. That we have to keep our sense of wonder, of curiosity.

There can be small changes with a big impact. Last week, for the first time, I saw an electric car recharging filling station.

A filling station with electricity ‘pumps’ rather than the old fashioned gas/petrol pumps. I nearly missed the new ‘pumps’. They didn’t stand out and didn’t look that different. But imagine the massive impact they have. The world is changing and if we don’t go out, if we don’t keep our eyes and minds open, we’ll miss them.

Life and Living is us. All of us. Together. Mostly it’s fun and enjoyable, but it can be hard and nearly unbearable. Whether it’s the fresh air on the beach, the food we eat, the changes we make in an attempt to make the world a better place, or the terrible things we have to live with and can now only remember, never forget.

Last week I enjoyed the sunshine and I know Pádraig did too. There is a chance for this to change, for the next storm to begin. One day. We don’t worry about that today.