Sunrise on Rush

A moment of transcendence on the North Beach

sunrise-over-lambay

The sun rises over Lambay Island. Photograph: Leo Bissett

Early morning on the North Beach in Rush. The sun rising slowly from behind Lambay Island is transmitting a vivid apricot light that pierces the low black clouds, and I am witnessing a moment of unfolding transfiguration.

A long triangular beam of light from the shimmering disc picks out a broken apricot pathway across the quietly swashing waters to the soft wet sand under my feet.  All is apricot as the familiar vista of cliffs, Martello tower, sea and lighthouse to my left and harbour cove and houses to my right is infused with an unearthly beauty.

The light is so strong I have to avert my eyes and hazy fragmenting images of sun, harbour and tower are tattooed briefly on the screen of sand before fading away. The sun is well clear of the island now and has dimmed to an unremarkable daylight.

It’s funny to be present at  moments such as this, at once natural and, dare I think it, supernatural. Heaven, the divine and creation continue to elude me, but yet what is this feeling that something might be shaping this moment that I could so easily have missed?

In that moment, the sun was like a huge lens that an invisible hand was directing at the shore in front of me, making me think of the magnifying glass I would hold up to the same sun when I was a boy and direct at a piece of paper to set fire to it.  I walk on.

— Enda Sheppard

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