Monday, 19 November 2007

Solitude and Presence

Today's Guardian tells the story of a guy from Pocklington who has spent the last four years bagging a night on all 162 Scottish Islands. Andy Strangeway has set a challenge to which others are now bound to respond. But what strikes me most is something I recognise deep within my own experience; the presence and awareness Andy describes is there in mountains and wilderness, on moors and shores and shot through the testimony of the Celtic Saints. Visit Iona, the cradle of Celtic Christianity in these islands, and stand in a quiet place, say up at the North end, embraced by the expanse of sky and sea, carressed by the breeze and simply present to the moment and you will feel what Andy means when he writes:

Yet, beyond this great adventure, there is something far greater, something that I cannot see. I can only feel it and I do not know of what I talk. My time on the islands has brought out an awareness deep within me. I have no firm belief in a religion or God, but I still seek. I am aware that all these islands have a presence and, the more isolated the island is, the stronger this presence becomes. One day, I hope that I will find my belief and discover God. Until then, the nearest that I can come to this is to be alone on my islands and to feel the awe that surrounds me.

My search continues...

1 comment:

  1. We think that Andy has found something that many of us in the Church have only dreamed of...