By Rev Mercia Malcolm
Summertime and the livin’ is easy... So goes the old song, giving the sense of long, lazy, sunny days that leave happy memories for years to come.
For many of us memory often casts a rosy glow over our childhood summers when life was more carefree, the sun always seemed to shine and the days were full of happy adventures. Since this is Northern Ireland it is certain that any childhood summers were also full of long rainy days of deep boredom, but somehow they are easy to forget.
Of course being Northern Ireland, memories of summer for many others are also tinged with more difficult images of tension, conflict and violence, with a very different sort of rosy glow cast in the mind.
This year the world has also been remembering the 100th anniversary of another tense summer when an act of violence in a country far away led to a terrible war in which millions died.
Acts of violence in far away countries that could lead to more widespread conflict are not unknown today either, and I am sure we all would pray that these situations can be resolved without further suffering and loss of life.
But all that makes us ask what memories we would wish our children and grandchildren to have of this summer. Thankfully so far it looks as though they could be good, happy memories of days of fun in the sun and more peaceful celebrations.
We may not be able to have any influence on the big world events in Israel and Palestine, Iraq and Afghanistan that could leave very different memories of this summer. But we can influence for good our own family life, our own neighbourhood, our own communities.
So as we enjoy the ‘easy livin’ of summertime, let’s, with God’s help, do what we can to ensure we build good memories for our children and young people of happy summer days. If we do then perhaps our summers to come can leave memories with the right kind of rosy glow for all of us.