Lessons from a Tidal Island
Updated: Aug 26
A few years ago, I traveled to the northeast coast of England to visit a tidal island in the North Sea. While there I learned a few lessons about diversity and unity. When the tide is in Lindisfarne appears to be an island set off by itself. However, when the tide is out an essential truth appears; the island is connected to the mainland. What’s true of a tidal island is also true of people. If you go deep enough and if you’re willing to see below the surface you’ll find we are all connected.
I went to Lindisfarne to walk from the mainland to the island – in the mud. It’s best to walk in bare feet if you don’t want to ruin a pair of shoes. The distance is about 3 miles and my goal was to walk in the mud and meditate on some essential truths. You see, when the tide is in you experience all the water that separates but when the tide is out you meet another reality - we are connected in the mud.
I came away from my muddy walk with dirty feet but a little softer heart. I learned that if you go deep enough, if you are willing to get dirty enough, and if all the things that divide us are washed out to sea; then our connectedness appears.
“No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part
of the main; If a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a
promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friends or of thine own were; any
man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind; and therefore never
send to know for whom the bell tolls, it tolls for thee.” -John Donne
By John Reitz