There’s a Manx phrase that I particularly enjoy and it’s used on especially windy days when locals comment that,
“It’s blowing a hoolie out there!”
I learnt soon after moving here, that life was not like it is ‘back across.’ (I also learnt soon after moving here to refer to the UK as, ‘back across’ and not, ‘the mainland’: to the Manx, this is the mainland and you will get quite the look if you suggest otherwise.)
It’s so much wilder here: the landscape, the weather… you just somehow feel everything more.
And with it’s clifftop tracks and un-fenced harbours, there are places where you really need to keep your wits about you if you go out walking.
This is especially true when the weather’s bad: during some ‘hoolies’, there are places where it’s genuinely dangerous to venture.
The waves can reach breathtaking heights: they fly over the sea walls, smashing onto the ground, drenching everything in sight.
As a ‘soft’ UK southerner, I’m still vaguely baffled that there aren’t men in high-vis jackets warning the public of no-go areas; radio warnings of which areas to avoid; or at the very least, a bit of bright yellow tape to give folks a heads-up of which spots to avoid if they enjoy being alive.
But no: you quickly learn to go light on the daydreams when you’re out walking – just in case.
Life ‘blows a hoolie’ from time to time, and sadly we’re not directed to safer pathways by helpful burly chaps then either.
There often isn’t a glimmer of warning tape, even when life’s waves grow perilously high.
We find ourselves walking some seriously scary pathways where, yes – we risk getting drenched – but we also risk getting dragged out into the ocean.
But we mustn’t let ourselves forget.
We mustn’t forget that beneath every angrily raging ocean, lies the quiet, unchanging sandy floor.
However large life’s waves, however angry the wind, there is – underneath it all and running through everything – a thoroughly good God who is neither frightened of the waves nor shocked by the turns our lives have taken.
The same God who promises to never leave nor forsake us: the faithful Father heart who has vowed to always hold us fast.
“So let go my soul and trust in Him,
The waves and wind still know His name.”*