Mornings of joy to drear afternoons of hard slog

Trip Start Jul 20, 2007
Trip End Jul 28, 2007

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Sunday, July 22, 2007

Anascaul to Dingle, Sunday

We would normally be in church on Sunday mornings.  Today we sit on rocks in the small cove at Minard and say morning office from Celtic Daily Prayer.  We sing our praises to our King and Saviour.  Thank you Lord for bringing us to this place.  We look out across the sparking sea to the mountains of the Iveragh peninsula, blues, greens, greys, silvers in perfect harmony.  You are so good to us, Lord.  Praise to Your holy Name.

But like life, mornings of joy on the sunlit uplands can quickly turn into something else.   It is a hard slog up the hill from Minard.  Its too hot for walking!  Too much of the way is on the road!  It's hard on the feet! Then it turns grey, starts to drizzle.  There's no pub at Lispole to stop for lunch.  Lunch is taken on a bench next to the busy main road to Dingle.  There's still 7 miles to walk to get to Dingle.  How easy it is to lose one's joy as circumstances change. 

The afternoon entails the simple discipline of continually putting one foot in front of the other; there are moments to be encourage.  Some beautiful flowers, views up the mountain pass.  But when your'e tired and footsore these consolations are too fleeting.  The last slog downhill to Dingle is drear.  Then Dingle is packed with people.  The map on the high street sends us the wrong way.  Where we are staying is well off centre.  Two weary dispirited pilgrims eventually make the next resting place.

A parable of life perhaps.  Is it just me, or are we all quickly discouraged?  Do we forget too quickly the good things in life, when we experience minor set backs?  Do we forget to give thanks for the larger blessings?  It didn't pour with rain!  We didnt get lost!  We have a place to lay our head; the prospect of a good meal (in fact it proved an outstanding meal!).  I so admire those folk who it seems to me face constant hardship, but remain cheerful.
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