Many moons ago, I promised some sort of explanation as to why I’m making a pilgrimage from Iona to Lindisfarne.
As many of you will know, the monastery at Lindisfarne was founded by monks sent from Iona in around 635AD. Not unreasonably, I assumed that there would have been a fair degree of traffic between those two great Christian centres. It was my intention to try to re-trace and then walk the pilgrim path between the two. So far, so stupid.
My advice to anybody trying to create a walk in the footsteps of historical figures, is don’t pick a group of people who were great seafarers. To ‘walk’ the route that those Celtic monks travelled between the ancient Kingdoms of Dál Riata and Northumbria, would require that singular gift which Our Lord demonstrated on the Sea of Galilee, and which St Peter so woefully failed to emulate.
The monks of the age of Columba, Aidan and Cuthbert were much attached to their coracles, and only walked for as far as they absolutely had to in order to haul their vessels from one body of water to the next.
Whatever else I’ll be doing in February, historical re-enactment it will not be.