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nd this is the barque. It’s a land voyage, of course… and it will take us across the continent and back – first to Adelaide to spend some catch-up time with my extended family – and then to Melbourne – a few days sightseeing with Jenny & Lachlan (who, in his memory, has never been to the really big smoke) and then my alma mater’s Centennial celebrations – not to mention my Grad year re-union – some 32 years on!

We’ve dubbed the barque “the white coracle” – inspired by TheCoracle@yahoogroups.com and hinting at the Celtic legend of St Brendan who launched his small round vessel to the unknown directions of the winds and currents, entrusting all to God’s keeping. While we have planned our destinations it is unknown what the long stretching road will hold for us, and we remain open to whatever occurs along the way. The barque, a 9 year old Falcon Station Wagon, is as ready as it can be. I’ve made the token effort of ensuring we have the requisite spare parts on board and am trusting in our charts and GPS to keep us on track – a far cry from St Brendan’s equipment, I know – but we still cannot deny the sense of excitement and apprehension at what the next few weeks hold. Following is the prayer composed for the occasion and mounted on the dashboard.

od bless and protect this white coracle

and those whom it carries

Chart its journey

Guard its strength and its safety

as it travels swiftly to the destinations

You have appointed.

Bless the land it traverses

The suburbs of the large metropolis

The parched crop growing paddocks

The scrubby mineral bearing donga

The ancient dream-time country

Dry deserts and fruit-bearing hills

Protect from bushfire, flood and drought

May this coracle greet the stranger along the way

with hospitality and welcome

and be gracious in receiving same.

In the name of the Holy One

who guided his children

through the wilderness

to the Promised Land

In the name of the Redeemer

who had nowhere

to rest His head.

In the name of the empowering Spirit

who, like the wind,

blows where He wills.

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