Standing on the Threshold of a Dream

Pilgrimage is one of the fundamental structures a journey can take – the quest in search of something, if only one’s own transformation, the journey towards a goal.  Rebecca Solnit

Dreams.  I’ve had a few.  The above image of a spider’s web in my garden caught in the early morning light, is my equivalent of the Native American idea of Dreamcatchers.  Their belief that the night air is filled with good and bad dreams which could be filtered by a symbolic web was born out of the legend of the Dream Catcher.   By capturing the ‘bad’ Spirits, the dream catcher filters and protects us from ‘evil’ by letting through only the good dreams allowing the bad dreams to perish and disappear with the first rays of the morning sun. I am standing at that precarious place, the threshold of my dream.  My days filled with anticipation, preparation, hesitation and butterflies, experiencing hope and fear in equal measure.  So I set about busying myself with practicalities and start to whittle down the things I really need to take.  I won’t be needing my passport for this particular journey but I was advised to take Tommy’s passport and notice he turns seven on 29th April, 2 days before we make our journey to Lindisfarne. IMG_6314

The desire to journey is deep in the human psyche, maybe stemming right back to the earliest human experience of hunter gatherers………………..Pilgrimage is a process of preparing, journeying and arriving and the more fully we are able to be present with the experience as it unfolds the more we are likely to be enriched by it.  It is how we travel that transforms the journey into a pilgrimage ………………In making a pilgrimage we are stepping out of our comfort zone, challenging ourselves and in the process connecting to resources and capacities within that we perhaps did not previously recognise we possessed.  Richard Dealler (Mary/Michael Pilgrim Route Guides)
I’ve been getting my pony ready for the transport journey ahead with plenty of walking up and down the box ramp.
A pilgrimage involves a journey to a place of significance, acting as a rite of passage. It involves following a route to seek spiritual or material rewards. The concept is important not only in regards to religion, but in history, anthropology, philosophy, literature, art and architecture, and has motivated the imaginations of writers and artists for centuries. It touches on many aspects of human existence through a physical journey to a special place, as well as an inner spiritual journey, and indeed the process of life itself.  From Lure of the Lost: A Contemporary Pilgrimage 2015  Anthony Schrag
Here is a photo of Father Harry blessing the ‘Piran’ Stone (see St Piran’s Stone).  Notice the shaft of light!

Father Harry with Stone

and the email it came with from the manager of St Michael’s Mount, Pete Hamilton:

​Dear Caro, Today Father Harry came to the island to bless the stone. He thought it would be nice to give the blessing on the causeway where it was found. He gave a lovely blessing and included you and Tommy in the prayer. We then sent the blessed stone, along with the candle, to the castle and placed them in the church, lit the candle and allowed the stone to absorb some spirituality for a time. I have attached a pic of Father Harry with the stone at the spot he made the blessing. The castle guide team will forward me a picture they took of the items in church which I’ll forward to you when I get it (hopefully tonight). I have the stone and candle here ready for collection (I can leave them in the mainland office if it suits?) I can not tell you enough just how lovely the blessing was – if rather unique. Best wishes Pete

And coming to terms with what I am leaving behind.
How I shall miss my adorable little shadow, Tammi
who is being cared for by my dear friends, Tabi and Aaron, at whippet central on Dartmoor.  I know she will have a lovely time as part of her new pack, be much loved and spoilt rotten.
And the very special loan of a family treasure for our pilgrimage: a Journeying Charm from the Native people of New Zealand made from bone (of unknown origin).
Together with a very fitting poem:
May the road rise up to meet you,
May the wind be always at your back,
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
The rains fall soft upon your fields
        and until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of His hand.
I am touched and honoured, Tabi.  No amount of thanks would be enough.
And saying goodbye to my newest granddaughter, just a few days old.  Here they are bathed in a golden glow of light, arriving home from the hospital for the first time with Charlotte (Lottie).  Georgie has just noticed the slate heart George has put above the door to welcome home the new arrival to their family.
Canter.  An easy gallop; originally called a Canterbury pace or gallop, from the ambling gait adopted by mounted pilgrims to the shrine of St Thomas à Becket at Canterbury. Brewer’s Dictionary of Phase and Fable
With just a few days before we head off, there is still time to fit in a bit more practice with the Canterbury pace (see above).  Tommy and I had an eventful but very enjoyable ride around Loe Bar on the Penrose Estate, Helston, yesterday with Lindsey and her beautiful spotty-bottom Appaloosa, Lyric.  A ride full of good ‘canter’ practice and trekking adventure such as carefully picking our way down a steep slope with a sheer drop to the beach, wading through streams, paddling in the lake, walking down a flight of earth-cut steps, through many gates, and across board walks, all highlighted by Lyric who decided that the soft sand on the beach was the perfect place to have a roll.  Not ideal with a rider still on board and in a Western saddle.  Bless him.
And despite Lindsey’s trials earlier in the day sorting out a pesky puncture on one of the tyres on her box, and the forecast for heavy rain, the weather gods decided that they would favour us with a dry run.  I especially enjoyed the carpet of blue in the woods now the bluebells have all come out.  We stopped for coffee and cake at the cafe en route where we asked some fellow riders to take some pictures of us which I have had fun making into a collage with a new app.
However, somewhere along our three and a half hour ride, we managed to get lost and had to retrace our steps to get back onto the right path.  Not a very auspicious omen for my upcoming journey and slightly embarrassing as it was on my watch.  I assured Lindsey I will be paying more attention to my map-reading skills in future!

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