A Winter Walk

A couple of weeks ago we attended a meeting at the local church (no I haven’t got religion!) where there was a local history talk about the Pilgrim Way in Fife. You can see Markinch’s St Drostan’s Church tower in the middle distance.

St Drostan's in the snow

The snow was still lying quite thickly in places, it has been a snowy winter this year and more is forecast for later this week.

Trees

But at least the days are getting longer already. These photos were taken at 4.45 pm, just a couple of weeks previously it would have been pitch black. I suppose the brightness of the snow helped.

There were apparently three paths traversed by pilgrims on their way to St Andrews Cathedral, but this path through woodland leads straight to the church which would have been a resting stage for the pilgrims.

Trees
I think that going on a pilgrimage was a bit like going to a gig nowadays. Something for people to look forward to, a bit of excitement, a chance to meet new people and particularly members of the opposite sex.

4 thoughts on “A Winter Walk

  1. I imagine the benefits to the original pilgrims would have been many and various – mixing with new people, as you observe; spiritual insights; new works of art, architecture, learning, and music to absorb or consider.

    What an interesting journey that would be today, especially if undertaken mindfully with a sense of history, of the sacred, of traditions and of connections with the calendar and the landscape.

    Enjoy your snow and lengthening days. (It’s 30°C here just now, I’m letting my gaze rest on that snowy landscape…)

    • Valerie,
      I’m sure they looked forward to a pilgrimage just as we look forward to a holiday. At a time when not many ordinary people could read (the church dates from the 12th century) St Drostan’s probably had religious scenes painted on the walls, but if so they’ve been whitewashed over. It’s hoped they can be uncovered in the future.
      I’ve been moaning about our weather – more snow is expected overnight, but I’m quite glad we don’t have your heat, I’d melt.

    • Joan,
      It’s always quiet when we’re there but there are a couple of pubs so it’ll probably have its moments! One of them has a sign outside it saying – Bring yer dug!
      That church can be seen from quite a distance and it’s nice to think that people have seen it there since the 12th century.

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