The day thou gavest Lord is ended ... the news of three dear friends and fellow pilgrims Jean Souter, Florence Cal-Anglia and Pat Foster, entering the Glory remained utmost in my thoughts and prayers as I walked along from Harestanes to Yetholm, a distance of about 18 miles. The walk was a mixture of wooded area, B and C Roads of the UK. In case you wonder what these road types are, B&C Roads make for 87% of the total length of roads in the UK. The purpose of this detail is to say that these roads are relatively quiet, especially the C roads. The tranquillity of the countryside in the Boarders is something to cherish. I pray what we do will inspire people to walk more and talk to God more. In talking with God we learn to talk with one another as if we are talking with God.
The day included hiking up the highest point in the St Cuthbert Way. The views of the Cheviots was breath-taking, literally. I said prayers at the peak of Wideopen Hills. The spontaneous gesture was to open wide my arms and think of all the people of this land and throughout the world to God's love. As I was saying the Lord's Prayer I saw someone running and turned the camera off. The gentleman had a talk and ran with great vigour and said something in the passing. I did not hear what was said, as I kept saying the prayer very loudly. It bothered me and reminded me of that joke shared between Pope Francis and Pope Benedict in the Two Popes 'the smoking and praying joke'. 'A Franciscan and a Jesuit were friends. They were both smokers who found it difficult to pray for a long period of time without having a cigarette. They decided to go to their superiors and ask permission to smoke. When they met again, the Franciscan was downcast. “I asked my superior if I could smoke while I pray and he said ‘no,’”. The Jesuit smiled. “I asked if I could pray while I smoke. He said ‘of course’.” My problems was, 'Can I talk to someone while I pray?'
Over the years of serving the Lord, I have got into the habit of praying while listening to someone, especially if it is of deep distress or discernment. It is a blessing to listen while praying.
Returning to the runner, I was very much hoping that I will have an opportunity meet him again. Behold, Steve was running down the hill behind me. It was a joy and a blessing to meet and have a very pleasant conversation. He gave a picture of the local area and said that pub in the Ale in Kirk Yetholm was better than the one in Village Yetholm. Nigel Lammas has been speaking about Kirk Yteholm for a few days ever since he heard that I was to do the St Cuthbert Way. It did not mean much to me until we arrived here. We have pitched our tent in Village Yetholm at Kirkfield Caravan Park. We are about to head out to Kirk Yetholm.