The view out of our office window on the last day of a truly remarkable and traumatic year.
Reflecting on it all . . . the election, a global pandemic, forming a government during the pandemic, being appointed Minister, trying our best to help communities . . . and all the while tying to adjust as a family to this great change in our lives.
I am conscious too that we still face the immediate challenge of a third, and possibly the most devastating, wave of COVID-19, which may overwhelm our health services before the vaccination programme can make an impact.
We must also think of how we emerge from the pandemic and what kind of world we want. While nature may have had a brief breather during the global lockdown, the desire to return quickly to the old normal may soon set us back in tackling the climate and biodiversity crisis.
Rudolf Bahro's words were printed on my election booklet back in February and they still hold true...
'When the forms of an old culture are dying, the new culture is created by a few people who are not afraid to be insecure.'
Hopefully as we rebuild our communities, society, and economy we can do so with innovation and creativity and with sustainability, collaboration, and interdependence at the core of our actions.
Athbhliain faoi mhaise díobh go léir.