Iona - We are Pilgrims

At long last, the day that we have been anticipating for a very long time has arrived! Our first day of the pilgrimage to Iona. As Mary DeJong mentions in her book Waymarkers, an important element of pilgrimage  is when the pilgrim crosses the threshold from ordinary time to sacred time.  This was certainly that day for us.

As Susan and I would both say, another important quality of a pilgrim is to have a flexible mind, and that was clearly required of us first thing as our bus driver, poor guy, had been instructed to pick us up in the wrong place. A few phone calls later, and he arrived apologetic, and I was relieved that I had built plenty of cushion time into our odyssey's itinerary. 

Our bus ride started with introductions and then Susan guided us in some intention setting and reflection of what it means to be a pilgrim. The bus ride was across the beautiful Scottish highlands and we ended up in Oban a half an hour early. 

Pilgrims enjoyed Oban in their own ways - eating, shopping, scotch tasting, reflecting. Everyone kindly arrived in time for the ferry which took us across to Mull. It was a beautiful ride with varied weather and scenery. Blessedly, when we arrived in Craignure, our bus was waiting for us and we had 3 bus drivers loading the "Deep Peace" group onto the bus. 

Mull was an island of spare beauty. Starting off, it had terrain similar to Montana,  then it became more like a seacoast town. We enjoyed watching the sheep from the car windows.  Mull's road is only one lane, so we were entertained by watching how the oncoming cars negotiated the roads with the truck. Again, we were 30 minutes early. I was delighted to see the ferry running, as it had been reported to be broken down.  A quick 10 minute ride and we were deposited on the magical shores of Iona.

We are all tucked into our sweet rooms at St. Columba Hotel and are waiting with open hearts to see what the journey might bring. I have been told that the internet might not handle a multiple photo upload, so I will be spare. Please see the photo of everyone boarding the Iona ferry which is the cover photo for this blog on the blog page.

Copyright 2018 Nancy C Murray

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Isle of Mull