First Light Wicklow, ©John O’Grady 2014
Oil on deep edged beech panel, 15 cm x 15 cm x 3.6 cm deep (approx. 6″x6″x1.5″, no need to frame and ready to hang)



There are days when the slatey grey and purple clouds are so low it feels as if they are touching the top of your head.

On days like this, you awake to the rain and no wind. The rain is soft and fine and, unrelenting in its fall to Earth, will soak through your clothes.

It’s not all doom and gloom though, for even clouds like these have a silver lining. The atmosphere is particular, it has an intimacy similar to a day with snow. The sounds of the world are a little bit muffled, people have to put their lights on in the house at midday and traffic slowly streams through the darkened land with their headlights on.

The day light can’t penetrate the dense blanket of cloud that shrouds the land. It has to find a way in, somewhere, from the side, squeezing in between land and sky. And then, you experience its magic and beauty when its low angle rakes across the land bathing each and every object it comes across.

Here is a poem by Winifred M. Letts (1882-1972) that conveys the feeling

A Soft Day.

A soft day, thank God!
A wind from the south
With a honey’d mouth;
A scent of drenching leaves,
Briar and beech and lime,
White elderflower and thyme,
And the soaking grass smells sweet,
Crushed by my two bare feet,
While the rain drips,
Drips, drips, drips from the eaves.

A soft day, thank God!
The hills wear a shroud
Of silver cloud;
The web the spider weaves
Is a glittering net;
The woodland path is wet,
And the soaking earth smells sweet
Under my two bare feet,
And the rain drips,
Drips, drips, drips from the leaves.

Have you experienced soft rain?