Thursday, 24 March 2011

On The Road

At the bend of the road I looked back again and saw the gold light die behind her; then I turned the corner, passed the village school, and closed that part of my life for ever. ...... I was propelled, of course, by the traditional forces that had sent many generations along this road - by the small tight valley closing in around one, stifling the breath with its mossy mouth ........ And now I was on my journey, in a pair of thick boots and with a hazel stick in my hand. ... These words come from the opening pages of Laurie Lee's autobiographical travelogue "As I Walked Out One Midsummer Morning". Journeys of all shapes and sizes are a big part of life for all of us. The journey is also often used as a symbol of life in so many different ways. Jesus calls us to follow him. That means going on a journey. He also tells us to travel light which tells us something about how we should be. In "Cave Refectory Road" (Canterbury Press, 2010) Ian Adams suggests that we need to live out our faith "in the open, in the market place, on the street" (p. 12) and he uses the road as an image of this. He makes a number of interesting comments about this, but I was particularly struck by something he says about our vulnerability on the road p. 36/7) - "We are vulnerable on the road. 'Have a safe journey', we say. 'Call us when you get there,' urge anxious parents. Travel can be an anxious business. Home is so much safer. But there is something vital about this human experience of stepping out into the unknown with little but our equivalent of Laurie Lee's 'small rolled-up tent, a violin in a blanket, a change of clothes, a tin of treacle biscuits, and some cheese.'"

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