It has been a day of many blessings. The highlight was a visit to the Sikh temple in the south of the city, where I was received with great hospitality. Part of Sikh custom is to provide a simple meal for those attending the temple. Once you have eaten you then take a turn serving the food - everyone eats the same, washes up and serves. I had the chance to sit and chat with one young man over the meal and it was fascinating hearing about the roots of the religion but also the realities of his day to day faith.
The temple is very close to the shore and so the second highlight of the day was walking along the sea front, looking out at the expanse of beach, stretching for what seemed like miles (as shown in today's picture).
Today was also about contrasts. This morning, at mass, there was a beautiful choir and the cantor had what you could describe as the voice of an angel. This afternoon, at the Sikh temple, the music was much livelier with a fast, repetitive almost meditative beat. It was like comparing ice and fire or straight and curly. But both created a space for prayer.
And, from the beach this afternoon, I ended up being taken to the mountains just outside Dublin this evening, to enjoy the very different beauty - going from the golden sands to what seemed like a thousand different shades of green. And certainly the third highlight, being treated while there, among other things, to a lovely cool pint of Guinness (which, almost became the picture of the day).
I felt God's presence, once again, in both the people and the places - in the generosity and kindness of those I met and the beauty of both seaside and hillside.