24 September 2011

Skies and seas of blue, green and golden fields

Sailing in the bright blue yonder ... Greystones, Co Wicklow, this afternoon (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2011)

Patrick Comerford

It was warm today. It was almost as if we were being reminded of the unfulfilled promises of what summer ought to have been this year. The temperatures in south Dublin and north Co Wicklow rose to 18 and 19, and there are promises of warmer, sunnier days in the week ahead – just as the students return for a new academic year.

Coming back from Belfast to Dublin on the train last night, darkness closed in at Newry, and had completely enveloped the countryside before the train even reached Dundalk. I peered out as the train passed over the Boyne at Drogheda, hoping to get a glimpse of the estuary waters. He train then moves little inland, but at Laytown and Balbriggan there were glimpses of the coast and a harbour once again.

And then, as the train moved along the line that runs parallel with the coast road between Balbriggan and Skerries, beside Ardgillan estate, the North Strand and harbour at Skerries spread out in a delightful and bejewelled arc to the east.

Glimpses of the sea were hidden in the dark by the time the train passed from Rush over Rogerstown estuary to Donabate, and the last glimpse of the sea was under the lights of the marina and the boatyards at Malahide.

I was hardly going to miss an opportunity to walk on the beach today if it came my way.

Here was lunchtime meeting in Rathmines with a bishop, three people from the agency Feed the Minds, two people from the Church of Ireland Bishops’ Apeal Fund and two ordinands.

And as I stepped out into the sunshine in Rathmines, it was obvious those bright blue skies and the warm sunshine were gifts that were going to remain for the afternoon.

A feeling of a lingering, if not enduring, summer in Greystones this afternoon (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2011)

We ended up in Greystones, were people were walking along the cliffs, and down on the small beach behind the new harbour families were gathered in small numbers, and two dogs were chasing in and out of the water. People braving the water included a happy little girl, one elderly woman and two people in wet suits with snorkels.

Out in the water, there was a large number of sailing boats.

Oh what a summer this could have been.

Waves on the shore in Greystones this afternoon (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2011)

Crossing over the railway line, we had coffee in Insomnia on the Main Street, before heading back under the railway line for another walk on the main beach.

Fields of green and gold above Greystones, looking out to the Irish Sea this afternoon (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2011)

We headed back through fields of green and gold that looked back out onto the sea, through Enniskerry and Glencree, back over the Feather Bed by Lough Dan, and down through Hell Fire Cub Forest.

Indeed, oh what a summer this could have been.

Green fields in Glencree, looking across to the Sugarloaf (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2011)

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