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Iona – A Journey Into Acceptance

I’m three days into my journey on Iona, and yes, it is a very special place. Not so much going back in time, as away from time. You can Google it to see its spectacular beauty, but you have to be here to experience the special peace and solace which it exudes.

But Iona is not so much a destination as a journey. Already I’ve learned to appreciate the simple, basic and absolutely delicious food (all grown on the island) such as swede and parsley scones, and turnip soup. I’ve learned that the burnt bits on the home baked brown bread give a wonderful flavour.

My journey so far, has also taken me to some hard places. I planned to do a great deal of walking here, but I hurt my back in Glasgow, and my mobility has been limited. There are 140 people living on the island, and one of them is a Bowen therapist! Yesterday, she worked on my back and my soul, and helped me to come to terms with the fact that what I had planned would not be possible. Her words have stayed with me: “You cannot impose your will on this island. There are many blessings to be had here. Take what it offers you. You are in one of the most beautiful places on earth.”

Today, it was a journey into trust and acceptance. I had booked a trip to Staffa Island to see Fingals cave (Mendelssohn’s Hebridean Overture). I had misunderstood however, and thought it was a trip in which the boat would go into the cave. It did – for five minutes, then deposited us on the island for an hour. The path to the cave was narrow with a drop to rocks below, but there was a rope on the cliff side of the path. For a while, I battled the panic and nausea of vertigo, but decided this was something I had to face. I learned to trust that the guide rope would not give way, and that the deep tread on my walking boots would hold my feet in place.

In the end, I couldn’t actually go down into the cave itself because the last twenty odd steps were just too deep for my knee. But what was offered instead was a holding of me as I faced my fear…….”there are many blessings to be had. Take what is offered ……..”.

Last night I attended a beautiful service in the Abbey from 9.00 – 10.00 pm. When I came out it was still light and perched high on a building, a nightingale was singing.

– Muriel White (for the August 2014 Newsletter)

Post Image:  By Phillip Capper from Wellington, New Zealand (Iona Abbey, Scotland, Sept. 2010) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

  • Eduardo 08/09/2015, 5:28 pm

    I need to really remember this because I’m always in fear for my children. I’m afraid of what they’re going to pick up from school. I fear that they will not accept the church that we belong to. I fear that my daughter’s fears will turn into something more than just childhood phobias. I fear that my 3rd old’s attitude and stubbornness will always be there and that she’ll be a horrible teenager. I fear that I haven’t read enough stories or sang enough songs at the end of the day. I fear that they don’t know that I truly love them. But yes, I need to parent with faith. I know my children best and I can help them the best. I need to keep telling myself that I really know what I’m doing and this is the best things for us; whatever it may be.

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