a priest's musings on the journey

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Day 6: On to Lindisfarne

So, today we realized how stupid we Americans can be regarding using public transportation. Who knew that we had to tell the conductor that we intended to get off the train at Berwick-upon-Tweed. There we were standing at the doors ready to get off, and they did not open. Everyone was very understanding, however, and we were told we could ride on to Newcastle then board a train back to Berwick. The mistake turned out to be fortuitous, because the English countryside was stunning- as was the view of the Holy Island from the train.

Finally, we arrived in Berwick, and after a short taxi ride, we were on the Holy Island Lindisfarne. For me it lacked the mystical "thin-ness" of Iona; Lindisfarne bordered upon being nothing more than a museum. And yet, the presence of the holiness of St. Aidan and others who served there somehow lingered. We spent some time, even though the winds were fierce, exploring the ruins and imagining what life must have been like for the monks there. After lunch in the pub we walked down to the beach and I sat; I gazed over the waters that had isolated us from the mainland and I contemplated the greatness of God and the inconsequential nature of my own being. It was a humbling moment: and then again a moment in which I felt totally loved by God. It was a moment in which I felt an immense trust in God and knew deep down in my heart that "all shall be well."

The wind really was fierce, and it was bitterly cold, so we eventually sought warmth and protection in St Mary's Church. We spent the rest of afternoon there in prayer, until the priest came to officiate at Evening Prayer. After the Office the causway was open once more and we returned to Berwick to catch the train back to Glasgow in hopes of a good night sleep before our trek back to the US on the morrow.

:: posted by Padre Rob+, 1:29 PM


Hi Padre Rob
Love your blog and have enjoyed reading about your pilgrimage to Iona, one of my most favourite thin places. I am taking another parish retreat there in June staying at Bishop's House. And I am just back from a week on Holy Island, and you are right - it was freezing! Sadly I found the staff in the Parish Church were not friendly, with the exception of Fr Damian, and I came away with a bitter taste.

So now I shall just look forward to our pilgrimage to Iona. There is nothing quite like turning that corner on Mull and seeing the island waiting for you. Thank you for your memories.
OpenID revruth, at 12:39 AM  
Thanks RevRuth. I hope your pilgrimage to Iona is as wonderful as ours was. I'm already planning a return visit :)
Blogger Padre Rob+, at 7:36 AM  
It sounds great!
Blogger John the organist, at 5:32 AM  

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