14 November 2010

A half moon and pink clouds over the beach at Holmpatrick

November sunshine at the end of the day, with a half-moon over Holmpatrick in Skerries late this afternoon (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2010)

Patrick Comerford

It has been a busy week ... and a busy weekend.

After a weekend away the previous weekend, photographing Pugin churches, convents and chapels in Killarney, Co Kerry, and Adare, Co Limerick, and touring the Lakes of Killarney, I headed back into a busy week in Dublin. Although the past week was a reading weeks for students, with no lectures or tutorials, we still had faculty and committee meetings and some chapel services, there was planning for the weeks ahead, sermons, lectures and tutorial notes to finish writing, meetings to prepare for, and meetings of both the cathedral board and chapter in Christ Church Cathedral.

But in the midst of it all, I spent the best part of a day in hospital, with tests and consultations relating to my sarcoidosis.

By now, I was hoping for some remission, no matter how slight. But the X-Rays on my lungs show no change over the past three months. The bad news is the expected remission has not yet begun to show signs of kicking in; the good news is there is no change, and things are not getting worse. That I can live with.

I then faced into a busy weekend, with students in for the Foundation Course, the NSM course and the distance-learning MTh course, with lectures, tutorials, one-to-one meetings and the daily round of chapel services.

On Saturday morning, I headed off with my tutorial group to visit the Irish Islamic Cultural Centre and mosque in Clonskeagh, with coffee and baclava afterwards in the Olive café in the basement; on Sunday morning, I was preaching at the Community Eucharist.

With th residential weekend over, I headed into Christ Church Cathedral to catch a cup of coffee in the crypt after the Remembrance Sunday Eucharist. The preacher was Canon Kenneth Kearon from the Anglican Communion Office and the setting was Fauré’s Requiem. It must have been very moving.

After lunch, conscious that it’s some time since I’ve had a walk on a beach, I headed off, first to Portrane and then on to Skerries.

The sun was declining in the east, but this has been a bright, sunny winter’z weekend, with bright blue skies and a crisp bite in the air. All along the coast road from Rush to Skerries, there was a rosé tint to the few clouds catching that setting sun, half moon was already taking its place high in the blue skies, and one or two stars were glowing brightly.

I stopped off at the steps at Holmpatrick to try and capture the image for those last, lingering moments, before going for a walk on the Strand. The water was calm, the tide was in, and gentle waves were lapping against the sand. It was a true contrast with reports of stormy seas less than a week ago.

As I turned back, lights wre coming on in the houses and apartments. After buying the last edition of the Skerries News and the Sunday papers, two of us took a quick drive around the harbour and Red Island.

It was a less invigorating Sunday afternoon than many of my beach walks earlier this year. But it is hard to believe that this is the middle of November. I feel refreshed, and the beauty of the beach and my walk on the shoreline in Skerries reminds me that I may have sarcoidosis ... but sarcoidosis will never have me.

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