For years I’ve avoided the reality of being an abject failure in a basic requirement for this job.
I’ve ducked and dodged and weaved like Lionel Messi the footballer, but the Christmas season is also the time for confessing and repenting.
I’m doing that now, with fulsome apologies to you all.
Please forgive me my sins in the spirit of the Yuletide season.
Mea maxima culpa.
We are all fully aware of how the powerful leaders and decision makers in Irish society, even those from inner-city areas across the island, make their decisions for every section of our complex modern society, by communicating constantly and fluently with the grass roots, and with your doorstep and mine.
They constantly reveal to us that their wisdoms and policies come directly from such interactions.
They reveal they always heed what they are told by the grass roots, and the doorsteps in their leadership campaigns, and base their invariably accurate decisions on our behalf, on that basis.
Isn’t that the pure truth?
My confession is long overdue, but I’m delighted to get it off my old chest, at last, even if it costs me a job I’ve hugely enjoyed down the years here.
Try as I may, and I’ve tried long and hard and often, I cannot strike up any contact of any kind with either grass roots or even the oldest doorsteps along this Wild Atlantic Way of ours.
They just won’t talk to me.
Not even my very own doorstep here in the lovely heritage town of Killaloe in East Clare.
The grass roots in our small garden, a few yards away from the silent doorstep, are also totally mute always.
I’ve even knelt down and tried to communicate with them by putting my ear up against their earthy beds.
All that happens is that I’m likely to have ants running into my ear and stinging me sharply.
But no message at all, from the green grass roots themselves, unless the platoons of angry little ants represent a message of rejection in their own way.
“Dear Doorstep”, I said, an hour before commencing this confession of my shameful failure.
“Speak to me at last. Tell me what to do, please”.
Silence as usual, even from my own doorstep, and then a blast of a gale came whistling from the mute grass roots, and banged the door closed behind me with a bang.
I was locked out of the house until my wife returned from the shop.
A sad fragment of the pure truth there.
No wonder I’m a broken old hack and, because of this confession, and its consequences, quite likely to be issued with my walking papers by even the highly tolerant Farming Editor.
Accordingly, my friends, if you don’t hear from me again in this space in theFarming section, can I take this opportunity to thank you all for your support down the years and wish all of you, wherever you dwell, a very happy and peaceful Christmas season.
Be very careful around all those grass roots and doorsteps in the meantime.
They may not talk, but they might be listening.