Our backpacks are prepped.
Our feet and legs have been “toughened” as much as we can.
Tomorrow we depart for England, and on the the 5th (St. Oswald’s Day), we will begin walking St. Oswald’s Way.
The 5 of us (Wife, Daughters and Son-in-law) will cover a little over 50 miles on foot through the countryside of Northumberland. We will begin on Lindisfarne Island, and finish at Acton House, very near the township of Hazon.
We will walk from the Upper Springs – to the Nether Springs. (see Judges 1:14-15)
The founders of the Northumbria Community were inspired to connect these names from the scriptures to these two locations. The names represent many things, but perhaps most significantly, the value of both Mission and Monastery, withdraw and advance, the tide coming in and going out. The two Springs draw a sort of boundary around an arena of life – defining the limits of the “active life” and the “contemplative life” (Thomas Merton).
We hope to experience this rhythm as we walk this land. As the Celtic Daily Prayer describes:
Land of my Fathers,
how I long to return,
to touch thy earth,
and find they sacred paths,
well-walked with the Gospel of Peace…
…Yet we would walk again thy sacred paths,
repair thy ancient ruins,
restore thy broken altars,
raise yup the foundations
of many generations.