Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Lindisfarne: where heaven & earth are one

 I've just been on retreat with Rachel on the Holy Island of Lindisfarne, staying with the Community of St Aidan and St Hilda at the Open Gate Retreat House.  The weekend was all about the Enneagram which is another story. But the place offered the opportunity to step back and reflect.  

The following are bits and pieces, quotes and prayer I copied into my journal (I can't remember where they came from), which spoke to me......

Do all journeys begin with a question? Out here on the sandy flats, deserts of water and sky, everything seemed open to question   

I came across this poem/ prayer called Holy Island by David Adams: 

God calls you out from where you are

God calls you from your safety and security


Come to the Borderlands where the sea meets sky

Come to the edge where earth meets sea


Come where two worlds meet

Come and discover that heaven and earth are one


You are children of the way

You have a road to travel


You need a Holy Island

A holy place that makes all places holy


You have a rendezvous to make

A meeting place to find


Listen to the waves and the murmurs of God

Be moved by the wind, ad the calling of God


Let walking become your prayer

Let journeying be part of your song


You may discover yourself

You may meet your own mysterious being


Discover for yourself sacred space

Enter into the time, which is beyond time


Then everything will be transformed


It is God who calls you to step out

It is God who travels the road with you


 "emptiness and an apparent uselessness are necessary conditions for an encounter with truth"

a 'holy wander': a meander past the harbour area and upturned boats, which look like a cross between a Hobbit hole & a garden shed -  to the National Trust Castle, an ancient exterior with an Edwardian interior. Along the coast to the Hide at Lough and the view of a peaceful 'swan' lake and then the obelisk besides the sea at Emmanuel Head - 'where sky meet sea and heaven meets earth';  along the pebbly beach of Sandham bay to the sand dunes; and back along Straight Lannes to the Village.   
'a swan floating by / a reed shaken by the wind / a moment of rest'

Pass on the flame:  
"May Christ be a bright star above us, 
a clear way before us, 
a warm fire within us"

St Aidan of Lindisfarne

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