to the lighthouse :: postcards from the golden hour


The Golden Hour. That beautiful time just before sunset (or just after sunrise) when the sun is low in the sky, producing a soft, golden glow. The hour when the landscape is touched by magic and everything is bathed in ethereal light. To my mind, there is nothing lovelier than a stroll to the sea on a warm summer’s evening, when the land and the water are sprinkled with gold.


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Last week, staying in a pretty stone cottage on Strumble Head in Pembrokeshire, we took advantage of every clear-skied sunset. Setting off after supper, we meandered down the narrow lane, hedgerows laced with wildflowers, glimpses of the aqua sea beckoning at every bend. The cliffs were carpeted with springy purple heather, radiant in the evening light. On Ynysmeicl, the islet at tip of the headland, stood the Strumble Head Lighthouse. There is something particularly beguiling about a lighthouse: its pale remoteness, the reliable glitter of its guiding light. We were transfixed; the boys imagining adventures, my love and I breathing in the clean air and timeless tranquility.

Gathering dried gorse and heather for the kelly kettle, we brewed hot chocolates and sat on a rock to watch the seals in the bay below. As the sun finally dipped down to the surface of the water, dissolving into an amber puddle, my love lifted the tiny one onto his shoulders and we made our way back in the day’s fading rays. Touched by the sun, the wind and the whisper of the sea, blessed to be together. A moment to hold fast to, a perfect memory, a golden time.

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