Copyright 2012 by Steven Carr
The old man was tired.
He would have admitted it, if asked. In truth, he knew that it owed nothing to the ravages of the sea and elements that relentlessly battered away at the Holy Island of Lindisfarne, nor did it have anything to do with his half-hearted adoption of a culture and way of life that was never his own. It wasn’t because of all the good he had achieved here during those first years and neither was it due to unnatural fear of the reckoning which ultimately awaited him at the end for the evils he had later committed.
In the distance, the larger frame of Bamburgh Castle stood as tall and resolute as Lindisfarne did in the face of the coming storm, the old man remembering a time when the lights there had continued to glow defiantly even after the fall – and when they finally went out several years later as generators and off-shore wind farms fell into disrepair and forever ceased to operate.
So, why Lindisfarne?
It had been a question repeatedly asked of him during those early days; to simpler minds Bamburgh seemed a better option in that it possessed greater stores, grander fortifications, its own generator and easy access to the surround. But the old man chose his bastion well, for Lindisfarne was smaller, yes, but easier to manage, easier to control and had something which Bamburgh did not – a defensible causeway, leaving the island isolated at high tide. He knew this from the beginning, but in the interest of fairness and equality entertained the debate anyway, if only for appearances sake.