A soft day

Looking out on what is known as ‘a soft day’ in Ireland, with its constant light misty rain is the perpetual Sunday afternoon sensation of lockdown. My desk is by the window and I see the charcoal drawn poplars against a woolly grey sky, full of little black birds. A soft day is the ultimate test of your immediate state of well-being, the supreme challenge to the mind that feels the pressure to be productive. There is nothing you can do about a soft day. You just have to accept it as it is and any attempt to imprint your consciousness on it just leads to frustration. It is what it is and while it might not be very beautiful, it is a gentle way of instructing us in the ancient art of meditation. There is a still windless silence under a film of rain that is almost imperceptible, but at the same time weighs more than water. On an island where the weather traditionally changes every twenty minutes, the soft day settles down on the land from dawn to dark, slowly weighing the earth down with more and more water.

Fanore Beach, County Clare, October 2020

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