Published on Tue, 17 Oct 2017 07:43

The Island

The Island is governed by the rhythm of the tides, alternately covering the causeway and cutting off the way to the mainland, then ebbing, backing off and allowing inhabitants to go to work, to the shops, to the doctor or dentist, to visit friends ashore in mainland villages, making sure that they return home to The Island before once more the sea approaches the causeway, reaches it and covers it deeply, isolating The Island and its inhabitants and those who choose to stay here a while.

The pattern is repeated each and every day, with variations in the timings dependent upon the lunar phases, as the Moon exerts her pull upon the waters of the Earth, making it vital to consult the tide time-tables, produced by Northumberland County Council, in order to cross the causeway in safety. Even then the County Council includes a warning that the times are given in good faith but that they do not accept responsibility for any inaccuracies.

All on The Island have to order their lives to fit with the rhythm of the tides. It is a salutary lesson to the visitor, reminding us that we are not in control of everything but that we have to take our place in God’s creation, to fit in with the order that God governs.

There is something about the rhythm of the tides that makes one pause, to stand back from the usual patterns of our busy lives. There is such a difference in the ‘feel’ of The Island when the tide is in and the day visitors have left. There is a feeling of separateness, of distance from the everyday world. The Island becomes quiet, there are fewer people about; for quite long stretches of time no-one is visible from my window, which overlooks a central part of the village and a crossroads, busy when the tide is out.

It's a time for slowing down, for watching birds in flight, hearing the sound of birdsong, the lapping of the waves, the sighing of the wind. It is a time when one is conscious, in the stillness, of the very close presence of God. It's a time when it is possible to be quite alone and to listen to God without distraction.

It's why I love The Island.

It is indeed a place that enables the song of our hearts to be tuned to the music of God’s Creation.

Love, Prayers and Blessings,


Categories Word from the Clergy