The wild cathedral of creation

De Facto

DIPS AT DUSK Bathers enjoying a swim at The Point, Westport.  Pic: Conor McKeown

De Facto
Liamy MacNally

“This is the new church,” said one of the many walkers enjoying the lovely weather heading to the Point at Westport Quay. The waters at the Quay glistened stillness under the hot sun. The kingfisher sparkled in the shimmering light, his blue hue almost dazzling as he darted along the Quay walls.  
Since taking over from the Westport Harbour Board the council has carried out improvement works with the pavements and traffic system working out extremely well. People are responding positively by using the facilities and supports provided by the council. Great credit is due to those involved.
The proposed sculpture project will add to the beauty of the Quay. One could envisage a complete sculpture trail along the Quay. Its natural beauty and vista lends itself to such a project and would be an added attraction for the area. Some seaside towns in other countries have managed this concept really well by hosting a sculpture school. The local authority acts as host for the sculptors who, in return, leave the work they create in situ.  
The only spoiler at the Quay is the overflowing litterbins.
Rooks pull out scraps of paper and scatter them everywhere. While people go to the trouble of disposing of their litter correctly their efforts come to nothing when the bins are full.  
Others make brave efforts to pick up discarded and bird-strewn debris wondering how difficult can it be to either provide more or bigger bins. Alternatively, you wonder could the bin collections be rearranged to ensure the bins are emptied more regularly. Either way, it doesn’t fall into the rocket-science category. Neither does the provision of a bin, even one, and a designated – disabled – parking bay at the Point.  
With the re-opening of society and the gradual lifting of lockdown more people will be taking the ‘holiday at home’ option. This means the litter situation at the Quay will not improve but become more pressured.
Attention is also needed where some of the boats are stored out of the water along the reclaimed land/car park facing Rosbeg. It is a litter ‘black spot’. Most of those working on boats are fully respectful of the surrounding environment but, as Micheál Ó Muircheartigh says, ‘There’s always one!’.     
Whoever would have thought that when you visit the Point, currently under the aegis of Westport United, you would not only see soccer being played, but also boys and girls practising Gaelic football and the young and not-so-young pucking a sliothar about. Even some adults practise their golf swings. Quay native Liam Halpin is trying to design a golf ball that will float – just in case! He has already patented left-handed golf balls!      
The beauty of Clew Bay is evident especially in fine weather with the number of people flocking to the Point to watch the sunset. Of late, the sunsets have been breathtaking. The burning buddy slowly but very visibly slips out of sight to take up duty elsewhere on the planet as we spin our way into twilight.
Some take to the car again to drive further out the coast road to get another view. We watch in awe as creation folds and unfolds the tresses of her majestic train in a show of divine beauty.
We are into the summer month of May and flowers of the rarest blossom in our hearts of memory and bloom before our eyes. There is a spring in our steps and a little hope returning. Many are discovering a little more of themselves and their surroundings during the lockdown. Most like what they see.
We are all part of the bigger picture of family, community, society and creation. We also become aware that we are not at the centre. The world will keep breathing, even without us. Our only call is to make the breath of life gentler, easier and more tolerable for all by respecting where we live.
If getting closer to nature is becoming the new church spare a thought for those who seek daily baptism. Institutional churches teach that one baptism is necessary, but hardy Covies are different. They dip daily in the new cathedral, the Point.