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Nov. 7, 2010

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With a Heart of Gratitude
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Unto Us a Calf is Born
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Christian Community as Pilgrim People
Nov. 2, 2010

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  Waymarkers on the Pilgrimage to Lindesfarne  
  posted October 26, 2010  
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Your breath I hear as wind, whispering worship.
Your peace I seek as I travel.
Your face I see as the sun, smiling solace.
Your peace I seek as I travel.
Your hand I feel as the water, cradling comfort.
Your peace I seek as I travel.

Mary Fleeson

The traditional pilgrims way to the Holy Island is across the mudflats at low tide. There are tall poles, known as Pilgrim Posts, set deep into the sand to guide the way. They are clear waymarkers of a safe route that will help the pilgrim avoid quicksand. There are also two refuge boxes on stilts. These provide a safe haven for the pilgrim who may not have checked the cycle of the tides and wants to avoid being swept away by the tides.

Waymarkers are helpful for orienting to and following a path. I discovered yesterday that markers are few and far between when entering the sand dunes and tall grasses of the Lindisfarne National Nature Reserve. I had a written sheet of instructions indicating the way to arrive at north beach. The paths were described but generally unmarked. I decided to follow the larger routes through the sea grass. But these were deceiving. They often brought me to the edge of a cliff or a dead end in thick shrubs. Retracing the route helped but the real solution was to reach higher ground where I could catch a glimpse of the sea and the pyramid at Emmanuel Head. Without Pilgrim Poles or the promised way signs the sea and the pyramid proved excellent orientation points. I was able to complete the path and find my way home.

On this journey I have been blessed with many waymarkers. I have found a worshipping community, The Community of Aiden and Hilda at The Open Gate. They celebrate Noon and evening prayer. There is St. Cuthbert’s Centre, with prayer guides and the availability of a spiritual director. The post master, Malcolm, who was born on the island was a great source of information about walking the Pilgrim’s Way across the mudflats. An English gentleman I met in The Pilgrim’s Coffee Shop shared stories of riding his bike across the mudflats as a boy and his cycling adventures as an adult. He sold his bikes this last year and is now looking forward to new adventures.

I am blessed with all these waymarkers as I travel. I can not loose my way. I truly experience God’s guidance and peace along the route of pilgrimage.

Your peace I find as I travel.

 

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