The Story Stones of Holy Island

Yesterday we had a lovely Bank Holiday Sunday walk on the Holy Island of Lindisfarne.

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This, despite me worrying that we’d not allowed ourselves enough time and would be caught in the tide as we left.  The fires of anxiety were stoked by a story the guys told of a friend of a friend who’d ignored the ‘do not proceed when water reaches causeway’ signs and had to be rescued by the coastguard, ruining a new, very expensive car in the process.  I needn’t have worried – we’d left enough time to eat delicious ice cream and buy some excellent locally-produced honey before joining the convoy of cars heading for the mainland.

We last visited Holy Island some seven or eight years ago when our children were still children, and we shared memories of that visit as we walked with our friends.  We talked of the history we knew of the place, too, and of other people we know who’ve been there.  Lindisfarne, it seemed to me, is awash with stories.

IMG_0401I was intrigued by some odd looking structures on the edge of the beach beyond the castle.  These turned out to be towers of stones, placed there, it seems, by visitors.  I’ve no idea what the structures are meant to mean, but I decided to add a stone or five to one of them. One of those stones looked remarkably like a cheerful face and I considered, momentarily, taking it home.  It was heavy and impractical to carry, though, so I put it on the tower.

The smiling stoneThen I selected a small, beautifully smooth red stone instead.  I’ve decided that it’s a ‘story stone’, as it holds the story of the world up to the moment I found it.

And for as long as it’s mine, it’ll also hold the story of the day we ambled in the Bank Holiday sunshine on Holy Island.

Click here for a Story Stones Writing Activity.

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