Iona - Beauty

Another beautiful day on Iona! We woke up to the weather somewhat more temperate than yesterday morning. A few of us gathered early to chant sacred sounds in a beautiful chapel near the abbey which has excellent acoustics. Surrounded by peace and love, we were joined in song by some birds outside and two chickadees who flew into the chapel to accompany us when we were there.

 We were joined by everyone else for a delightful breakfast, nourished by the food and the camaraderie as we got to know each other better. Susan introduced the word for today which is BEAUTY and encouraged us to explore our connection to beauty today.

We joined the Iona community in their morning worship, sweet in words and song.

As in prior days, some joined in the group hike and others chose to experience Iona on their own. The group set out on what may be the longest hike of the week. Encouraged by a favorable weather forecast and uncertain about the forecast for the end of the week. Scott and Susan wanted to be sure that we got to go to two of their favorite beaches for rock hunting. The weather was lovely at first, with a high overcast. Sun salutations at the first beach brought us sun for the second half of the journey.  The day in all its different weathers brought numerous opportunities to connect with beauty. Pilgrims found lovely rocks, the landscape was peppered with various stunning wildflowers,  my husband found a magnificent bird nest, and we had the beauty of each other.

Gratitude for functioning bodies abounded as we hiked up and down rigorous terrain interspersed with bog and heather, largely forging our own path. It felt like walking through someone's garden. Those of us who are new to Iona were amazed to encounter this marshy ground at such high elevation. Just one of many Iona mysteries. On our walk back to the hotel, we were buoyed by bright sun, our rock treasures in our pockets and backpacks and the glow that one feels after a hard physical day.  We look forward this evening to Scott's first geology talk!

Today, won't you join us and contemplate the beauty of the day? 

Copyright 2018 Nancy C Murray

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