Sunday, 9 March 2014

A field of daffodils with a promise of Spring
and a walk on the beach in Bettystown

A field of daffodils near Gormanston, Co Meath ... spring is arriving (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2014)

Patrick Comerford

It was a beautiful Spring morning this morning, and after working through the weekend, I was glad to take the afternoon, with time for some walks in the countryside in Co Meath and a walk on the beach at Bettystown.

After our community Eucharist marking the First Sunday in Lent, three of us headed north to Co Meath, stopping first at my old school in Gormanston to walk through the unique yew walk in the castle grounds, and to visit the Franciscan graveyard at the end of the yew walk, where some of my past teachers and fellow pupils are buried.

The Yew Walk in the grounds of Gormanston Castle, Co Meath (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2014)

Above the graves, the carved Stations of the Cross were a reminder of the journey to Calvary we are sharing in Lent.

North of Gormanston we stopped briefly to admire the expansive field of daffodils that comes into full bloom this time of the year. We might some bunches of budding daffodils, but many of the daffodils seem to be late in blooming, and it may be worth returning later this week in the hope of finding the field a riot of yellow and green.

We then continued through Julianstown to Laytown, where we stopped to visit the Church of the Sacred Heart, perched above the sand banks looking out to the Irish Sea.

By now the blue skies of the morning were covered in grey clouds, but we went for a short walk on the long stretch of sand on the beach in Bettystown. The tide was out, and the waves were still choppy, and although we could see as far north as the hills on the Cooley Peninsula, the clouds blocked our vista towards the Mountains of Mourne.

On the terrace outside Relish, looking out to beach at Bettystown, Co Meath, and the Irish Sea (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2014)

We had a generous and enjoyable meal in Relish, which is always welcoming. The conversation ranged from travels in the Greek Islands to politics, journalism, academic life, and the more mundane realities of how two of us are living with sarcoidosis.

Later, we stepped back out onto the terrace behind Relish to enjoy the sea view once more, and had another walk on the beach, although the evening lights were closing in.

Soon, the evenings will stretch a little longer, the daffodils will be in full bloom, the clouds will be lighter, and the beach at Bettystown will be even more inviting.

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