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Crescent Moon over Ballina

The Crescent moon hung over Ballina to the south sinking between Venus and Jupiter both planets bleached out in the creeping light of a new dawn.

In those magical minutes between darkness and daylight, the sky on this frosty late January morning was that deep blue that heralds a new dawn.

Completing the serene scene, a scattering of clouds rimmed the dome of the sky – nature’s vignette giving the moon centre stage.

Over Humbert Street, and the monument dedicated to the memory of the Irish and French forces who died in the 1798 rebellion, the waning moon looked suspended in a timeless scene.

Frozen snow crunched underfoot after an Arctic night as I made my way along McAndrew’s Lane where St Muredach’s Cathedral, the skeleton trees and rooftops, all in silhouette drew the eye to the bright globe above.

A few more steps and the view I had been moving towards revealed itself: St Muredach’s Cathedral towering over the River Moy – its spire and the Crescent Moon appeared to be almost touching.

The Crescent Moon over Victoria Terrace, Ballina, Co Mayo on January 31st, 2019. Photo: Anthony Hickey
The Crescent Moon over Victoria Terrace, Ballina, Co Mayo on January 31st, 2019. Photo: Anthony Hickey

The Cross and Crescent Moon – symbols of two ancient and often opposing religions in a heavenly harmony. Of course, it was nothing more than an optical illusion created by my viewing angle.

But it’s nice to think for a moment the Crescent Moon over Ballina Cathedral on that cold morning was symbolic.

Echoing the kindness shown by Claremorris farmers, Oliver and Anna Dixon, to Syrian war exiles, Abdul and Faisal, farmers far from their olive groves who have found refuge and purpose working on the Mayo couple’s organic farm near Claremorris.

The Crescent Moon over St. Muredach's Cathedral, Ballina, Co Mayo on January 31st, 2019. Photo: Anthony Hickey
The Crescent Moon over St. Muredach’s Cathedral, Ballina, Co Mayo on January 31st, 2019. Photo: Anthony Hickey

By Anthony Hickey

Follow writer and photographer, Anthony Hickey, as he travels around his native Co. Mayo, Ireland.