The real gold at the rainbow’s end is found in our hearts and in God’s blessings ... the Burrow Beach at Portrane this afternoon (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2012)
The bright, clear weather that has arrived with this early Spring – and that kept a spring in my step around Lough Erne and Co Fermanagh for two days at the end of this week – continued into the weekend in Dublin: this morning, the sky was blue, the small clusters of clouds were bright in their whiteness, and despite the breeze the temperatures continued to hover in the mid-teens.
In the early afternoon, two of us went out to the Fingal coast in north Co Dublin, and found the tide was out at the Burrow Beach in Portrane. The forecasts said the rain would arrive later in the day, and with the flat golden sands stretching out below us, we seized the opportunity we had, rather than postponing our weekend walk beach until later in the day.
As we walked out to the shoreline, facing east towards Lambay Island, the tide was coming in slowly in little ripples and tiny playful waves that looked as though they were dancing playfully and sounded as if they were singing softly.
As we walked back up to the low grassy dunes, the golden sand was sparkling beneath my feet, when a light shower of sparkling rain started to fall. As I turned back to face towards the shoreline, with the sun behind my back, a full rainbow appeared beneath the clouds, in an arc that stretched from Rush to Lambay Island. Once or twice a second, shadow rainbow emerged above, as if, like a parent, caring to embrace the delicate bow beneath.
Three small, delighted children, who had busy making what may have been their first sandcastles of the year, playfully skipped out, hands stretched out, as if to grasp out towards the bow, or dreaming they might seek for the gold at its end.
But the crock of gold is never at the end of the rainbow – it is here in afternoons such as this, delighting in God’s creation and the reflections of God in humanity and in God’s world.
Sea shells in the sand on the Burrow beach in Portrane this afternoon (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2012)