iggandfriends

Life, crafty stuff, long walks, thoughts, and little oddities.


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Pathway to the Sun

Setting sun traces a path across the beach

Reflections in rippled water point the way

Into the darkness ahead.

The brightness will soon fade

Leaving blackness of night sky

Stars hidden behind clouds.

I will walk for a while

In the dark with him

Watching and waiting

Making ready

To greet the rising Sun

path into the sun

Mark 14:32ff….watching and praying…

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Uphill climb

One step forward and two back. An old adage, but that’s what life sometimes feels like. Strolling on the beach is great, but then something will occur – not anything major; perhaps a change of mood or a change in the weather, destructive thoughts, careless words – and suddenly I’m climbing up a steep cliff, hanging grimly on as the slope seems to shift and move around me. Often the beginning of the struggle is indiscernible. Where did the scramble start? This is a questioning time in my life. While I am sure that God wants me here, in this time, in this place, often it would be have been easier to stay in my previous existence. Safe, secure, just getting on with life. Sure of what I’m meant to be doing and why.

Pausing is dangerous. It makes you think. And pray. And deal with issues you might not want to tackle. And pray again. How do you let go of the previous situation, how do you relinquish all the work you’ve put in? How do you stop? How do you be? And when all the labels, all the layers are stripped away, who is left underneath them? At times there is a deafening silence. I find myself reminded of Elijah in the Old Testament, who after wind and storm hears the still voice of God in that very silence. At times the only answer is an inward knowledge and calm that I am loved, wanted and adored by God. That the labels pinned on me by myself and society are actually not of any value to him. He has no need of them. It doesn’t stop the questioning, the thinking, the process of relearning to live. But it is there as a steady assurance. I am his and he is mine and that is all.

I saw this piece of driftwood on the beach today. I haven’t moved it into position. This is how I found it. Climbing the slope to the top. It reminded me that in my struggles, he is there with me. He has climbed this cliff as well, and now he climbs it again, with me.Climbing cross

Now there was a great wind, so strong that it was splitting mountains and breaking rocks in pieces before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake; and after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire a sound of sheer silence. When Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his mantle and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave. I Kings 19:9ff

 

 


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Listening shell

The beach is a liminal zone. Neither land nor sea. Constantly moving from one to the other. Each tide brings a new scene, a fresh place to walk. Ever changing, ever constant. A place of contradictions. A place to rest, to walk, to think. To pray. To talk. To laugh and to cry. A place for the tired times and the energetic ones. For trudges in glumness and dancing in joy. A place of exploration. A place of being. Where my deepest thoughts are spoken and my heart’s desires are expressed, spoken into the wind and the tide. For the ears of my God alone.

There are times when the silence from God seems to deafen me.  When it seems as though the wind and the tide are the only ones listening. And it’s time like this that God can strike unexpectedly… a word at the right time, an unexpected ranbow, a sweeping sunset that takes my breath away. God’s gifts for me to enjoy. This little shell reminded me that as I walk along the sand, as I practice being in the company of God, he does listen. Even in the silence.

P1080512

 


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Scallop shells

Walk along the beach.

Tide riding into shore on the wind.

Waves playing.

The shingle rumbles.

Sand crunches.

Such activity.

There, lying tumbled,

A scallop shell lies.

Orange white, firm ridges.

The pilgrim shell of long ago.

Cradle it in your hands.

Remember.

This time is pilgrimage.

Like the traveler of old

Headed to a strange place

Savour the journey.

Value each step.

Be in this place

Listen to the song of the journey

Step into lands unknown.

scallop shell


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Moons and fossils

The moon floats over sunset hill as we walk. Gravel crunches under our feet. Setting sun reflects in the pools. The low lights cast the fossil footprints into sharp relief, hidden among the rock-strewn beach. The cliffs seem to be caressing each other, ripples of stone on stone. Tucked by the shore’s edge, the holy well is in full spate. The ancient tree cradles the stream as it trickles past, frozen in time. At this most sacred season, the water flows again, bringing new life. The stillness rolls over this place, breath of time itself.

monreith, back beach


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Red skies and prayer

Red sky at night, shepherds delight …. red sky at dawn, shepherds mourn. The dawn predicted the day. A glorious pink glow lighting the massing clouds. Wild, wet weather descends. Waves roll relentlessly towards the shore. A quick scurry to the shop, past fields sodden with rain. The wind gusts. Then home to the warm cosy fire to toast my toes. Hot spiced fruit juice to warm my hands. Advent candles counting down the days. The windowsill nativity grows apace – a new character for each day. Nimble fingers work at gifts, each stitch a prayer. The words of Isaiah ring through my mind: prepare the way of the Lord… a day for pondering, today.

notepads

 

A voice cries out: ‘In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God. Isaiah 40:3


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Restless run and resting swans

Restless within, I rise early. An icy morning dawns outside. Wrapped up well, I go for a run. The tide is ebbing, leaving behind a wake of seaweed. Oyster catchers are up early, searching for food. A gull wheels overhead, seeking the sun.  By the stream that flows to the sea, two swans are roosting. Heads tucked well down, protected against the cold. I saw them yesterday, making their way along the bay. Fighting against the waves, they came into the shore. Here they are welcome. Here, in this place, they have found rest from the winters storm. Rest for mind and soul. Restless no more, I head home, my place of rest reached.

Swans on the sea

‘Thou hast made us for thyself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it finds rest in thee.’ St Augustine

You can find a link to this quote here.