The Lake District of northern England is beautiful and inspires beauty. For, having grown up on Arthur Ransome’s Swallows and Amazons, I will always see pirates, explorers and hidden treasure in its hills and waters. However, other authors also have found their destiny there.
In fact, this area’s preservation is thanks largely to Beatrix Potter, the famous author of illustrated children’s books. John Ruskin, a Victorian poet, had a house amongst the fells and is buried at Coniston. But the best known of all the Lake’s literary greats was William Wordsworth who wrote of the local flowers:
I wander’d lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o’er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.
However, on a recent camping holiday in Cumberland, I encountered a different side to this district. For the sands between Cumbria and Lancashire are treacherous. In years gone by, they have swollen people, horses and coaches trying to cross them. So, it was with some surprise I noted some wet trainers outside my neighbors’ trailer. They explained they had been on a guided walk across Morecambe Bay. Not only that, but the leader of their expedition was royally appointed and held the title of Queen’s Guide to the Sands. And for this honor, he receives the princely sum of $20 a year!
Here then is a reminder that even amongst beauty, dangers can lurk. What better time to look for a guide through life’s quick-sands. Now, he doesn’t get paid anything. But he too is royally commissioned. Because he is the Son of God and our Lord, Jesus Christ.
Let us then step out boldly and write our future’s chapter in the sands of time.