Wednesday 13 October 2010

Out Of The Chilly Pit

Caedmon is a hospitable man; he receives many a weary traveller into his home to provide food and shelter for them overnight. This is wonderful for both of us, as we often put up people who have journeyed many miles, and over the fire we hear many tales of faraway places. Most of the lodgers are traders, sailors, builders and other craftsmen. Of course I curl up around the fire, pretending not to listen, but what I overhear is truly fascinating. They say that travel broadens the mind; as for me, I only move around within the area of the Abbey, but wayfarers have broadened my mind a great deal. Caedmon doesn't go very far away, since he can't afford to on a herdsman's wages, but he did once go to visit the Bishop of Jarrow after word had reached him of his poetic prowess.

Last night we had a guest called Godmaer, who told us that in a distant land - which sounds rather cold, as it's chilly - some miners have been trapped in the bowels of the earth for weeks. They'd been digging for valuable ores when a fall of earth trapped them deep underground. They’d been trapped in the darkness for weeks, but they were supplied food and drink through a small hole, which had been bored into the ground for them. It now appears that all is not lost - there have been men at the surface who’ve drilled a deep hole wide enough to reach the men, and they’ve started to bring them out with a long rope.

On hearing this, Caedmon commented that this is a wonderful picture of divine redemption, and quoted the words of the Psalmist: "He brought me up out of the pit of destruction, out of the miry clay. And He set my feet upon a rock, making my footsteps firm." He said it must be like being born again, and I agree with him. What must it be like to be in the darkness for so long and to come out into the daylight and back to life on the surface?

But there's one man among those miners who won't feel quite so wonderful. He'd been playing along two women before the accident, and his guilty secret - like him - has been brought to light... Oh, the folly of humans.

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