Iona - Light

Today, we woke up to yet another beautiful day. The wind was howling and the clouds grey, with promise of rain for later in the afternoon.  A few of us got up very early to try to make it through a slot canyon which is only accessible at low tide. Other early birds came to our now "normal" half hour of chanting and reiki healing in St. Oran's.  Others did their own thing. 

At breakfast we learned that the word for the day is LIGHT.  Susan intentionally chose the word for a day without much sun so we could consider where we might find light in the day. 

We all found light of one kind or another. Everyone took advantage of the last day to do what they wanted - true retreat where everyone selected their favorite from what appears now to be an infinite number of options on Iona.  

The slot canyon people did not make it through as the 50 mph gusts of wind were pushing the low tide water right up the canyon, however they had a great adventure anyway, including their leader valiantly getting soaked to the knee while trying to find a way.

Others of us took another rock sleuthing trip to some of our favorite treasure beaches. Some, myself included, hiked up Dun I. This was a true adventure with the gusting winds and we felt like we might get blown off. I ended up on my hands and knees and crawled to the top. Invigorating! I'm sorry to write the most about our hike, but it is what I know. Following a detailed map one of our pilgrims had studied in detail, we went up and down and up and down a series of hills and ended up finding the hermits' cell. We stood within the ruins and did some chants while inside. Our attention was drawn up to a nearby ruin marked on the map as the well of the north wind. Well, we certainly experienced the wind part, although ours was from the South.  The lack of sheep in the hills was a sure indicator of the wind intensity!!

The rain began and we were delighted to find the light in the eyes of our fellow pilgrims when we returned.  Some had decided to snuggle in to the inn by the coal fire for the day and have an equally beautiful day of rest.

Yoga was in the village hall. Surrounded by pelting rain and blustery winds, we felt deeply connected to the iona residents who use the hall for many things including dance and play. 

During yoga the wind stopped and our sun salutations bore fruit as the sun came out for our closing gathering and dinner. Half of us went to see the sunset at the north end of the island and half went to evening service, which was a taize service with extra candles. The music was brilliant,  but we were also graced with another song which we valiantly tried to save. The imperfect and lovely music is a highlight for me.

How can you experience light today? 

Copyright 2018 Nancy C Murray

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