There was space in my life today so I seized the chance to take what may be my last walk around the beach in Tramore for 2015. It was overcast, misty, windy and wet but I loved every single step of it.
There was a real sense of in-betweenness about the walk ~ these last days before a whole new year opens up in front of us.
I couldn’t but think of the old year leaving the stage when as I watched this gull taking flight:
And this man trudging homeward in the soft sand down by the end of the beach was yet another symbol of the departing year:
It was round by the Backstrand that I got a sense of the new corners and undulations that lie ahead:
But all the while, there were gems of the sea shore to keep me firmly grounded in the present moment:
More than anything, the old railway sleepers that are so much a part of the Back Strand in Tramore made me think of both continuity and change as they gleamed in the dull light:
What or where are YOUR symbols of the in-betweenness of the old year and beginning of the new?
I’ve passed this wreck of a toy a few times now as I walk along the Back Strand here in Tramore. It looked so new at the start but now it’s beginning to blend into the sandhills where it lies, as if resigned to a new life.
I can hear the shapes dropping through the spaces and the chuckles of a contented toddler as he sits upright with the glowing pride of mastery.
I can also see tears of frustration wobble down scarlet cheeks of a tired, teething little person, at odds with the very shape of life and the pain it’s inflicting.
But more than anything, I feel the tug of a chubby, sticky little hand pulling me to the floor to share the magic of a whole world, waiting to be explored …..
Tramore Beach here in Co. Waterford in the south-east of Ireland is my natural habitat and I know it has a special place in the hearts of people from Tramore as well as the many, many visitors who come here year after year. I hope that the slideshow at the end of this post touches the hearts of those who know the beach as well, if not better than I do, and that it allows people from all across the globe to come walk with me in this glorious, inspirational place which appeals to every sense. The beach is over three miles long and one of the greatest pleasures I know is to head off early in the morning and soak up its natural beauty. There are some delicious choices when walking Tramore Beach: walk up and down the beach itself, even paddling some of the way; take a circular route and absorb the absolute peace of the Back Strand; or have a bit of everything ~ go along the Back Strand for a while, then take a peep at the expanse of the Bay when one reaches ‘the black rocks.’ So many choices, so many landmarks, both personal and collective. Undoubtedly, the main landmarks associated with Tramore Bay are the Metal Man and Brownstown Head. However, can one even think of Tramore Beach without reference to the Prom, the Life Guards Hut, the ‘Baldy Man’ – a towering sandhill, the channel at the end of the beach which looks across at Saleens? All the while, one cannot but be aware of Tramore town which is built above the beach and the further down one goes the more the shape of the town comes into focus. The lovely green space of the Doneraile Walk almost hanging over the cliff with the Coastguard Station at the far end; the two church steeples; the Grand Hotel, the Race Course, the Pier, Newtown Cove …. Tramore Beach has long associations with swimming and surfing, bird life, flowers, and for being a chidren’s paradise – buckets and spades, sandcastles; teams train here; lover’s love, people fish….. The sound of the sea is special too. How magical to fall asleep to the whisper of the sea being carried on the wind, especially on moonlit nights, looking forward to an early morning walk that will show the beach in all her magnificent nakedness. Tramore Beach is ever-changing, with time and tide, but it has a continuity that defines it.