Peregrinatio…

Tomorrow we set sail.

I am not quite sure what we will find when we land on Jura.

Neither am I quite sure how the whole social thing will work out- we are forming a temporary community of people who mostly do not know each other.

We are hoping to spend time seeking after God, but he can be so mysterious can’t he?

What I am reminded of is that old Celtic monastic tradition of peregrinatio, or ‘Holy voyaging’, which in practice meant to get in a boat, and simply to set sail. No destination planned, simply trusting to tide, wind and God. The destination of such a voyage was not geographical, but rather spiritual. The goal was to arrive at ones ‘place of resurrection.’ Arriving at journey’s end inevitably meant an actual physical place also however- and it is these places that still hold the memory of these voyages all over Argyll- in the place names, the folk lore, and also in the marks and mounds in the earth out on exposed headlands, or on tiny islands.

So, in anticipation of our own homecoming, I am going to re-post a poem that I wrote a few years ago, dedicated to that great voyaging monk, St Brendan

Lord stain me with salt

Brine me with the badge of the deep sea sailor

I have spent too long

On concrete ground.

If hope raises up these tattered sails

Will you send for me

A fair and steady wind?

3 thoughts on “Peregrinatio…

  1. Pingback: Reflections on the census- the end of Christendom… « this fragile tent

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