A fresh breeze blows over Lough Swilly as I make my way down to Rathmullan beach. With the dunes on my left and the sea on my right, the beach extends off into the distance ending at a far away point. To have time to myself, as I walk over wet sands with the wind swirling around my head allows me to reflect, to plan, to ponder and to think about loved ones far away. Maybe its the wide open space, the salt air or the sound of lapping water that brings me back here every day.Togged out in raincoat and wellies, I sling my camera over my shoulder and hope maybe today to capture the intermittent sunlight as it reflects on the water. More often than not, I stoop to collect half buried shells that the tide has laid bare. Large, intact crustaceans seem to find themselves this far up the inlet, sometimes knotted in seaweed or filled with sand. I clean them in the sea water and tuck them away in my pockets. Out at sea, strings of oyster beds form straight lines in the water attracting screeching gulls from the nearby pier. There are fishing boats bobbing in the bay and an occasional fisherman adjusting his pots. At this time of year, though its quiet with just a few other walkers on Rathmullan beach.
Above me, clouds form and reform with scant shades of blue barely visible in the dense cover. As the unobstructed skyline is so immense, you can see changing weather systems from far away. This gives me enough time to pull up my hood and hunch my shoulders as grey rain sheets form on the outer headlands, past the town of Rathmullan. Time enough to turn back, to retrace my steps in the sand, as I make my way back along the coastline to the warmth of the house.