Imprints on Glenariffe beach on the beautiful Antrim coast

5 Enda Imprints on Glenariffe beach ImageI couldn’t count the number of times in my past that I exclaimed “O my God, isn’t it just so beautiful?” Access to this beauty was easy. The house looked over the beach - just to jump over the sea wall and you are on the beach and if so desired in the sea! As a child, I would spend long hours each day on this beach, with friends, in and out of the water, or in boats or building sandcastles, or collecting shells.

On this occasion it was, yes, over the sea wall, but enjoyment was of a different kind. The day was glorious and so an invitation for a long bracing walk along the beach was calling. The quality of this sand, with these sparkling tiny particles of shell, crushed by the many moods of the ocean and its whipping currents, and now glinting in this spring sunshine, had caught my imagination. With every step I was leaving a definite, moulded shape in this shimmering landscape. It was salutary to observe. There was a great variety of imprints already, created by walkers, dogs of various breeds and sea birds whose habitat it is. There seemed to be great freedom in the patterns, coming and going in every direction.  Some would leave a light touch, others a deep impression. Many imprints were small and timid-like, while others, dominant and aggressive. The length of the stride was very personal and the urgency or otherwise was evident. The tide was far out, so these marks would remain for a specified time, time regulated by the movement of the moon, and as the tide returned to its limits all evidence would be erased. This process would repeat itself. Another cohort of walkers would traverse this path another day and create new patterns, that in turn would be erased, as had many before today. 

I reflected how this mirrored life itself. That day the beach was a place of peace and pleasure. There’s something soothing and soul touching about being at the sea, with that great blue wide-open, embracing space, that brings such a compelling sense of awe. As the water sparkled, I reminisced on my childhood and those now absent, and noted how quickly the footprint of each one vanishes. 

by Enda McMullan SSL