How Can I Describe This?

I said ‘Goodnight’ to the calmest sea imaginable last night. It was like she was a sleeping baby snuggled up in light blue and pink.

Garrarus Beach at Sunset
Garrarus Beach at Sunset

What I woke to this morning was a different sort of child ~ dark and moody but with a glint of hope in her eyes.

Tramore Bay, Co. Waterford
Tramore Bay, Co. Waterford

I made for Newtown Cove doubting that a swim would be possible because of the rising tide and choppy waves.

What greeted me was a packed car park and when I looked down I saw that there were lots of people swimming in the sheltered inlet.

Newtown Cove, Co. Waterford.
Newtown Cove, Co. Waterford.

Some of the better swimmers were diving in towards the open sea:

Ready, Steady ...
Ready, Steady …

Seeing the swimmers was one thing but joining them was quite another. The sense of togetherness was palpable. Friends, acquaintances, strangers … it didn’t matter. Everyone was chatting to everyone. This was a moment of communal love and respect for both the sea and those who crave it.


All the talk was about how warm the water still is; how a swim sets you up for the day; how Ireland should beat Italy in the Rugby World Cup …

See, it’s not all about appearances. It’s about embracing and enjoying nature and connecting with kindred spirits in the process.

How was YOUR Sunday Morning? 

Repetitions of Desire ~ Gatherings from Ireland # 278

Garrarus Beach, Co. Waterford
Garrarus Beach, Co. Waterford

I was out at Garrarus Beach very early this morning to catch up on my birthday swim which was impossible yesterday because of the storm. There was a lovely sense of calm and cleansing and the seaweed was beautifully autumnal and shapely. All day since, I’ve been thinking of this poem:


As it leaves

the sea inscribes

the sand

with a zen riddle

written in Japanese

characters of seaweed.


the white selves

of seagulls

mesh in repetitions

of desire

(John O’Donohue, from Echoes of Memory)

Fire and Water ~ Gatherings from Ireland # 274

It’s been a week of blissful sunsets here in Co. Waterford. Yesterday evening Garrarus Beach was surreal. As I ran into the calm sea, there was an deep sense of being at one with those powerful elements of nature ~ fire and water. The colours had me thinking of the sea in very feminine terms, clad in fine blue denim and a translucent pink blouse that only nature could produce.

We were three, a photographer, a fisherman and me ~ all appreciating the wonder that was ours through separate but shared eyes.

As I was departing to return to reality, I asked the photographer, who transpired to be a man whose work I have long admired,  if he would send me a copy of what he had captured. So, this is the image that Damien Jackson kindly sent:

Garrarus Beach, Co. Waterford. Photo: Damien Jackson
Garrarus Beach, Co. Waterford.
Photo: Damien Jackson

Do you Realise How Lucky You Are? ~Gatherings from Ireland # 259

Out for a dawn walk on Tramore  Beach on Sunday, I heard the sound of horses hooves when it seemed that there was just me and the sea.

Tramore Beach, Co. Waterford.
Tramore Beach, Co. Waterford.

A glowing couple approached and asked me if I would take a photograph of them, making sure to have the sea in the background.

They were from an inland county and this was their first time riding on the beach.

Their parting words to me were: Do you realise how lucky you are living so close to the sea? 

Yes I do,  and that’s exactly where I’m going now for a swim to celebrate the arrival of October.

I’d love to know how you plan to welcome the new month?