I have zig-zagged back and forth across the UK. Landed at Manchester, England I caught the train at the station to go to Sheffield. The journey continued from Manchester to Berwick-upon-Tweed, then to Edinburgh, Aberdeeen, Glasgow and finally Ayr. Since we don’t routinely use train transport in my part of the US, these are unique journeys for which I have had to develop the skills of learning to read train schedules, locating platforms and gathering your gear for hopping off and on.
But because of the community that is generated by those of us that volunteer on the Isle of Iona, there have been very few station stops that didn’t involve a greeting from a friendly face. Phil was at Sheffield, Denis and Sally at Edinburgh, Bill at Aberdeen, Becki at Glasgow and Jeanette at Ayr (actually my cousin, but nearly the same thing). And if Elizabeth had been off work she would have met us at Berwick. There is a comfort to arriving at a new place, even if it is a place you have been to before, to have a friendly face at the end of one adventure and the beginning of a next.
And these people didn’t have to be there. They stopped their larger lives to take the time to come to the train station, some for as little as an hours time, and others to open their homes for several days. And whether a quick coffee in the terminal to catch up, or lunch, or to take weary travels off the road for a time, it was something above and beyond. It makes one wonder. to what degree am I willing to be interrupted. Often people can feel as if they are imposing themselves, and yet all these wonderful people allowed me to impose myself upon them.
So here is to becoming the thin place that can happily be interrupted by those who enter my life.
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