sabbatical 2019 - St. Cuthbert's Way


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August 6th 2019
Published: August 6th 2019
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Gracious, it's been awhile since you last heard from me

Alas, the internet connections have been real poor in recent B and B's, often not available in our rooms.

We have been hiking St. Cuthbert's Way for 5 days, from 6 - 10 miles each day and staying in a new B and B each nights. Quite a challenge for Jeremy and Jan who have to carry luggage for a 4 yr old and 6 month old! Ar least we have a taxi service who takes our major luggage to each B and B where it is waiting for our arrival after 5 - 7 hours of hiking. The infant, Dylan, is carried. Rose, the 4 yr old walks about 2 miles and is carried the rest of the way, mostly in a backpack by Uncle Ben. When she is walking, the pace can be slow, not because of her little steps but because she likes to stop and comment on the many sheep or interesting cowpies in the pasture! There have been many fascinating conversations with different pairings of us all, and occasional laughter and comments when we are all next to each other. The pace has sometimes challenged my sense of wanting to get things accomplished! But for the most part we have all been wonderfully accommodating and we are practicing the art of listening to each other - a wonderful pilgrimage discipline.

St. Cuthbert lived in the 2nd half of the 7th century. He was responsible for establishing a very strong Abbey in Melrose, Scotland. He also made many trips to Lindesfarne, the Holy Island off the East coast of England He established the monastery there as well and was so well revered that he was buried there, though his body was moved around these highlands for over 100 years, when the Vikings were plundering many of the Abbeys. One of the travel spots of his body was St. Cuthbert;s Cave, which we visited today. Immediately after spending time in the cave, (while it was raining), we had our first glimpse of the Holy Island in the distance. It is approached by a causeway that is walkable only at low tide. So we will time our visit on Wednesday appropriately and spend 2 days there.

Alas pictures are not presently passing from my phone to my computer, so hopefully another day and you will get pictures.

We have also interspersed conversations and memories of my dad, when we talk. At night we generally spend 2 hours over dinner in good laughter, sharing, checking in, and rich conversation. An elderly couple from England passes us most days, so we have made friends with Dave and Vivienne, who are staying at most of the same B and B's as us.

The distant views have been remarkable! We often see the 2 mountains we crossed on the first day, and now we are seeing Lindesfarne in the distance ahead, where we will be on our last day. Lots of sheep and cows!!! (There are more sheep in Scotland than people!) We are here in Beal tonight for 2 nights, so hopefully you'll hear from me a gain tomorrow.

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