Blowing in the wind
Earlier this week I returned from a four-day visit to Shetland. Having visited these beautiful, windswept islands with their welcoming Spirit-filled congregations once before (as President of MWiB in 2012) I was delighted to be back – to meet some folk again and to make new friends too. Last year Methodism north of the border was re-organised so although still an autonomous district, Shetland now shares a chair with Scotland, but has its own senior minister as deputy chair, Rev. Andrew Fox. I stayed with Andrew and Susie, who looked after me wonderfully well. As well as three services, a 100-strong ecumenical women’s gathering and an evening with new local preachers, I had the opportunity to travel with them to the very north of Shetland and visit the most northerly tea room, the most northerly church and the most northerly fish and chip shop! All great experiences.
I also spent part of one day with the recently-arrived probationary minister, Rev. David Lees, which included a visit to Alma and her croft. I thoroughly enjoyed this opportunity to glimpse a little bit of the crofting lifestyle and it was good to be out in the (very breezy) open digging “tatties and neeps” for the Harvest sale (photos may follow!) and then viewing fleeces ready for market. There is more of my Shetland visit on the Methodist Presidential facebook page
Home then for about 9 hours to catch up on emails and other admin before Andrew and I set off to our cottage for a little break. Yesterday dawned sunny so by 8:30am we were heading up Ben Lawers, the 10th highest mountain in Scotland at just below 4,000′. At our cottage it had been fairly calm – on the slopes of Ben Lawers it was blowing a gale and continued to do so all day.
Rarely have I experienced such strong winds (and my legs are still aching today as a result!) But it was a magnificent day with two summits and five ptarmigan.
“The answers, my friend, are blowing in the wind”, sang Bob Dylan, and sometimes, as the elements invigorate and scour my over-thinking mind, I think he may have been right. Jill