Monday, September 3, 2012

Morebattle to Kirk Yetholm

We had a lovely Scottish summer day to walk to the highest point and halfway mark of the Way of St. Cuthbert. When we made it to the top of Wideopen Hill, we sat and enjoyed a "biscuit" in celebration. As we gazed at the path we had just ascended, we saw a young woman approaching us. Could it be a pilgrim? In fact it was the one and only pilgrim we were to run across in our entire pilgrimage. How fitting that it should be here at the summit that we met her. Her name was Emily, and she was from Sydney, Australia. She had been in the cities of the UK for a while and had just felt the need to get away to the countryside for some solitary time. She would soon be on her way to Iceland for a month as a resident artist somewhere in that country.
Marlene and Emily on Wideopen Hill

 We are now in a lovely Bed and Breakfast that was once an old mill. Tomorrow is a very long walk, 13 miles, with nothing in between as far as amenities are concerned. This will be quite a challenge.

Before checking in to our lodgings, we wandered around the town. A beautiful church towers over Kirk Yetholm and we noticed that the church seemed not to be an ancient one, but more Victorian perhaps. Our timing was perfect, because an older gentlemanwalked down the path, and as we smiled and said hello, he asked if we would like to see the inside of the church. This man, Ian, was a retired Anglican priest who was now serving as assistant pastor at this Church of Scotland kirk. He joked that he had to be very careful when doing the service not to make the sign of the cross (big faux pas!), to leave off the last "forever" from the Lord's Prayer, and of course that it was "debts" and not "trespasses." He asked if we knew why the Presbyterians didn't use the word "trespasses." We admitted that we didn't know, and he said, the Scots had no understanding of the word because there is no such thing as trespassing in Scotland. The land all belongs to the Scots, and so long as you do no harm, you may be on the land without violating the law. So they went back and translated the word differently. And now you know!

In the borders there were many shepherds and their dogs were very important to them. Ian told a story about how the shepherds would bring their dogs into the church. When one shepherd had a falling out and decided to go to another church, his dog refused to change, and would come into this church and sit through the service in his accustomed spot.
Kirk Yetholm Church of Scotland


1 comment:

  1. Oran Mor, upside-down or right side up, is not all important to us trying to be with on your blog! Please, just keep sending what you can and give us the juicy news of you and Marlene. Although Google says, it is 68 and clear; thirteen miles in one day will be a big hump for both of you. How is Marlene? Back to the weather, Google weather reminds me people: ‘nobody likes, but the truth changes’. Things are fine in Commonwealth. We all are praying and pulling for you two.