06 January 2012

The first walk on a beach for the New Year

Half the arc of a fading rainbow was barely visible above the small beach north of Bray Harbour, Co Wicklow, this afternoon (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2012)

Patrick Comerford

I spent just a little time at my desk in my study at work this morning, printing out Sunday’s sermons, which I had finished writing earlier in the week, dealing with some emails and unanswered telephone calls, and picking up my mail and some publications.

After the rains and the storm that lasted for a few days earlier this week, it was good to irises and snowdrops bursting out in the grounds. The sky was blue, even if a few white clouds were to be seen, and by lunchtime I was ready to head out to Bray for lunch.

It was bright enough to feel that perhaps Spring could be on the way soon and that we have avoided a repeat of last year’s awful, snowy, arctic winter here in Ireland.

It was so bright and clear, that I first headed for a walk along the esplanade that runs parallel with the mile-long beach of pebbles and sand.

If I pull out the plug when the tide is in, does the water drain away? ... the harbour in Bray, Co Wicklow, this afternoon (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2012)

After strolling around the harbour, watching children feeding the swans, ducks and gulls, I came across a small beach with coarse sand I had never noticed before. There was just a fistful of people on this beach, but the view north stretched along the south Dublin coastline beyond the shoreline below Woodbrooke Golf Club and as far as Sorrento Head. In the sky, there was half the arc of a fading rainbow.

This was my first walk on a beach so far this year – and, indeed, my first steps outside Dublin. Earlier in the week, after four of us had enjoyed dinner in Salamanca in Saint Andrew Street, we headed out to Dun Laoghaire for a brisk walk on the pier. But it was raining, it was dark, and it was not a beach walk by any stretch of the imagination.

Looking south towards Bray from the north pier of Bray Harbour this afternoon (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2012)

Walking back down along the promenade in Bray this afternoon, two of us went to the Beach House for a late lunch. Once again, we had a table by a window with a full view of the beach and the sea. As we ate, children were playing on the edge of the water, and people were promenading up and down the length of the esplanade.

Back in Christ Church Cathedral, the Archbishop of Dublin celebrated the Eucharist for the Feast of Epiphany.

The Wise Men had arrived from the East.

Hopefully, spring follows soon too.

An early, colourful spring iris this morning (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2012)

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