We always enter Cornwall by crossing the Tamar Bridge just outside of Plymouth. There is something new to see now – a 62ft Celtic cross. I think it may be the culmination of discussions that started around celebrating the millennium which in one way gives hope that dreams do become reality. I watched Shawshank Redemption tonight with the line
Remember, Red, hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things. And no good thing ever dies.
I am always hopeful driving into Cornwall, hopeful of the restorative properties of walking by the sea, of the time to play and be, of space to read and think. All these are spiritual activities for me and the cross reminds me to offer thanks to God that I can enjoy such times, I realise that I am privileged in that. The time away is a marker post to us. Without such regular marker posts we would find it hard to sustain the intense periods of ministry that seem to be part of what we are called to at the moment.
Not far from where we are staying is a place where pilgrims used to set sail for Santiago de Compostela from, on the otherside of the river in Plymouth is where the Pilgrims set sail to America from – very different journeys but vivid reminders to us of the significance of being a pilgrim on a journey where we don’t always know where we are going to end up. The cross that we now see as we enter Cornwall is a reminder of the hope that whatever difficulties we may experience on the journey we are not experiencing them alone.