Lindisfarne is a very special place. It is on a tidal island. You can cross the sands for approximately eight hours a day. And then you are literally stuck on the island until the waters receed. It is called Holy Island because of all the miracles that happened with regards to St. Cuthbert.
I've had the great privledge of crossing the sands twice. The first time I was a youth leader volunteer with my first group of youth in 1998. It was so exciting because none of us knew what to expect. I think we were all a tiny bit scared we would fall into the water, or that the water would suddenly rush up and we'd be stuck in the crows nests for hours.
The second time I was leading adults in 2004 as part of Ceile De. I was the youngest member of the pilgrimage by 25 years. I have a vivid memory of pulling up the rear of our 15 person line, hiking across the sands. I could not wait to get back to Holy Island. Literally, I was so impatient. During the first 100 steps in the sand I was thinking to myself, "Please, can you move it along people?" I started chanting in my head, "Speed up, speed up...everybody, everywhere" to the tune of the "Clean Up, Clean Up" song I picked up somewhere in the church daycare. It was hilarious. I was so frustrated. But then something shifted. I began to realize my ridiculous need to hurry and took a deep breath and stopped. I looked around. I looked down at the sand that had about and inch of water covering it. I noticed these little drip-castle-like formations in the sand that seemed to have little blow holes coming from the deep and wormy-like sand formations were spewing out from the sands. I started to walk again, this time at least 30 steps away from the person in front of me and I enjoyed the space, the quiet, the sound of the seals in the distance. I was fully present. I then began to chant to myself, "Slow down, slow down."
I encourage you to slow down. Slow down. Stop. Listen.