I’d made an important decision, that had been hanging over me for a while, and followed it through. I’d made really good progress on my contribution to a resource for schools in Northumberland that Wendy and I are writing about “Preventing Violent Extremism”. Three lots of Sunday teaching for the church were well under way, and I’d made two important visits to people who matter to me.
I was also more than a little bothered by events in New Zealand and Japan…in the days in which we live you always have to ask are events like these evidence of our slide towards planet-wide ecological disaster. The rising price of diesel for the car (and when you live in a rural area, alternatives for transport over longer distances are a bit limited) pointed towards the ever diminishing supply of some of the resources we’ve come to depend upon.
On Thursday I ran out of steam. I spent the day feeling incredibly restless and more than a little ‘down’ as I tried to motivate myself to do something…anything…to break the cycle I found myself in.
Friday was a beautiful, sunny day. I decided it was time to do something I hadn’t done for a while, and deliberately maroon myself on an island.
It’s not really as foolish as it sounds, especially if you guess that the island in question is Holy Island and you appreciate that my being marooned would only be for the duration of one period when the tide is in, until the tide opened again and I was able to drive off the island on the causeway. Because I often work on the island I generally rush on and off to beat the tides. Today would be different.
You have no idea what a struggle it was to get everything ready and get into the car. Anne Morrow Lindberg, in her book, “My Gift From The Sea”, clearly had the same experience:
“It is a difficult lesson to learn today – to leave one’s friends and family and deliberately practice the art of solitude for an hour or a day or a week. For me, the break is the most difficult.”
Eventually, the car was parked in the main car park, my rucksack was on my back and I set of along the waterlogged farm track that led to the even-more-waterlogged dunes and the path to the North Shore. Although there were a few cars parked with mine, and I’d seen people at a distance, most visitors to the Island tend to cling to the village, the castle and the ruined priory and their immediate surroundings. Skylarks and seagulls sang in a sort of harmony, and I was alone, the wind at my back and the sun in my face.
To be continued…