For with the flow and ebb, its style
Varies from continent to isle;
Dry shod o’er sands, twice every day
The pilgrims to the shrine find way;
Twice every day the waves efface
Of staves and sandalled feet the trace.
Sir Walter Scott
We arrived an hour before the tide would come in, drowning both the causeway and the ancient pilgrim route that still crosses the sands and the mudflats. It would either be a flying visit where we would see little, or we could choose to wait until the tide went out, some eight hours later to leave Holy Island. The causeway would be lost beneath the sea and the Island would become itself for a while, cut off from the world and a place of utter peace at this time of year… We weren’t in a hurry.
We parked the car and walked down to where we could see the castle. My companion had never visited Lindisfarne before and I had managed only the briefest of visits, always ruled by the tide and other obligations. This time we could explore. We drove slowly across the causeway. The sands and grasses of the dunes seem not to form a clear delineation between sea and shore and it seems odd to drive where you know there will soon be waves.
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