More Than A Bit Of Folk Lore?

p> An incomer made his home on Holy Island. An islander who had moved to the mainland made a return visit. I love the island, the incomer told him. But the island does not love you said the islander. However he continued, if you search for a Saint Cuthbert bead on the shore, and make it into a prayer rosary which you keep close to you, then the island will come to you.

I wondered whether this was a piece of superstition or whether there might be a deeper spiritual meaning behind it. St. Cuthbert's beads (or Cuddy's beads) are fossilised portions of the crinoid. They have been here for millions of years. Compared to them all those who have ever been the island's inhabitants are newcomers - guests. Saint Cuthbert came to the island after many brothers had left for Ireland. Those who remained had tensions and disagreement. Yet Cuthbert's kindness, prayers and eventually the burial in the island's soil of his body which did not disintegrate led indirectly to Lindisfarne being given its new name of Holy Island. So could the meaning of this folk lore be that if we embrace both the nature and the hospitable ways of Cuthbert on in this place, the island will indeed begin to come to us?

Posted at 05:45am on 28th September 2009
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