Before moving to Spain, each June I used to really enjoy joining one of the Morecambe Bay Walks under the leadership of Cedric Robinson MBE, who since 1963 has been the Queen’s Official Guide to this incredible area. The walk usually sets off from Arnside in Cumbria as low tide approaches and crosses Morecambe Bay to an area close to Grange-over-Sands, with much time spent wading through, if not actually walking on, water. Not particularly arduous, this 8 mile, necessarily fairly level walk tends to be a great family day out, with amazing views as you trek across sand bars some distance out to sea.
But definitely not a walk for taking liberties or exploring alone, for the sands and gullies of Morecambe Bay can be quite treacherous for the unwary, so the safe route across is decidedly tortuous, often at times appearing to be headed in a completely wrong direction. So I’ve often heard folk questioning the chosen route as we seem to be turning away from Grange, apparently heading back towards Arnside; and sometimes on such occasions Cedric will turn aside a few steps to follow the suggested direction to demonstrate the folly of deviating from his chosen route. For in the sands of Morecambe Bay things often are not what they seem. Small “puddles” can prove to be several metres deep and what looks to be solid ground can actually be quicksand that could bury the unwary in seconds. So, on this walk it’s vital to forget our own instinctive ideas of direction and follow the instructions of the guide without question.
And what a lesson this walk can be for life! How often we instinctively want to go the wrong way, to choose a route in life that looks attractive - the easy option, the short cut or the one that fits our ambitions? And these can so often lead us out of our depth or into the quicksand of corruption. And as on Morecambe Bay, we have the ultimate guide readily available. Not perhaps Cedric Robinson, but the Bible gives pretty good direction, and prayer can be so helpful in confirming or questioning our chosen path.