As TT fast approaches (where have three years gone?!) there is the inevitable rush of 'stuff' which needs doing: signs, cones, cakes, chairs, finding a bakery …
Three years have disappeared in what feels like a mush of no time at all alongside a haze of lockdown memories, lost summers, quiet roads and not many French accents.
If the Island DOES return to normal then all indications are it will be a popular return. The biking community have spent too long away from their place of pilgrimage and I have more than enough people saying how much they're looking forward to returning or visiting for the first time.
And while there will always be trepidation about delivering our usual sense of community amid the nervousness of post-Covid and uncertain numbers of crowds, there is a definite sense of hope that life, as it always does, wins through in the end.
We have been immeasurably fortunate to have survived the past two years in ways other nations have not. We benefitted from border closures in ways which retained a semblance of normality our nearest neighbours could only dream of. We must never take for granted what it means to feel freedom where others cannot.
The celebration of a return to life for those who have seen it taken away should inspire us to deliver the best we can for ANY visitors. For those who have spent two years being denied the freedom to travel and live freely in ways we have enjoyed, we should encourage them to celebrate with us the best ways we can.
What more an indication of life after death than that? That after the celebration of Easter, new life was slowly recognised as an opportunity to be seized and to spread abroad how important it is to not take life for granted. The first disciples were scared of what the future held at first, but Jesus' encouragement and gift of life led to them exploding outwards in a celebration of life.
So must we. That we put aside all uncertainty and fear and look to the future as one of hope. That those who come to us in hope – hoping for a time of joy and gathering – receive the inspiration from us as the Church when they are made welcome and receive our hospitality.
So, as much as it's been nice having a couple of quiet summers with no blocked roads … bring on the TT.
God has given it to us as a testament to who we can be as welcomers to the stranger.