It was good to breathe clear coastal air last weekend. It felt that it had been sometime since I had got out of Cambridge and seen a different view and tasted a cleaner landscape. It was also good to be with friends. They took me to one of their favourite places, Woodbridge on the Suffolk Estuary.
It is a part of the world that I know well from my childhood, as my grandparents had their holiday home, just up the coast in Aldeburgh. I was delighted to visit the riverside and witness the solitude and romance of the moored boats on the mud flats.
I’ve always liked boats, they speak to me their potential of journeys yet to be undertaken and adventures already experienced. They present their history, their future and their loyalty.
As a child I would stand in my parent’s bedroom on many trips to Aldeburgh and with binoculars, follow the little fishing boats from the horizon.
With expectation I would rush down to the beach to peer at the treasure that they had brought up from the depths of the North Sea. I also enjoyed just walking amongst them and indeed the challenge of trying to capture their humble majesty in pencil and paint.
Just as paintings throughout the century have depicted Christ with blue eyes and blonde hair, I too have understood Jesus within my own experience and have seen his friendship with the fishermen of Galilee, by thinking of those little wooden family owned trawlers.
But on this occasion, standing on the somewhat neglected quay side in Woodbridge, with the sun just peeking through the marbled sky, I was reminded about my own situation.
A vessel exposed on the mud, somewhat weather worn and isolated, and yet to be transformed and transported by the waters yet so far away but nevertheless certain to return.
Invited as we are at this time of year to journey with Jesus and his first disciples, those fishermen who had once left their nets, I can only imagine the emotions they went through. But I am certain, just like myself in those darkest of times, when their friend and master was facing trial & death , that they could never have dreamt that in just a few short days, he would once again be sharing breakfast from the morning catch of the trusted boats.