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Ever Constant, Ever Changing

 
  Iona Abby as a pilgrimage  
  posted October 31, 2010  
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How did I lose my way or once believe
That there were riches bigger than this simplicity
Or that any other tide could speak, or heal
The wounds of searching deeper cut than pain
Where here I stand by heaven hearing God?

from the poem - “Resolution” in IONA Poems
Kenneth C. Steven

The Caledonian MacBrayne Ferry is right on time to the port of Oban. There is a quick and efficient boarding of people, dogs, cars and lorries all headed to Mull. Today the winds are wild, the rain sweeps across in squalls and the swells rock this large ship to the delight of two little boys. Their shouts of glee as we crest another wave bring joy to everyone in ear shot.

This is the wettest and wildest crossing I have every made and I am grateful for that. The adventure of traveling here is never the same. At the wee port of Craignure we race through the rain to board the bus for Fionnphort. The Isle of Mull is also rainy and wind swept. Fall has declared herself. Sheep and cattle huddle together in circles of shelter from the elements.

At the village and port of Fionnphort we make the final crossing on a smaller CalMac ferry to Iona. Even before I set foot on the isle I feel a sense of homecoming. The rain has become a fine mist. From the open upper deck of the ferry you can look across and see the Abbey which stands out amidst the small houses along the quay and others that dot the isle.

There are twenty volunteers with me who have travelled various distances for the Iona Community work week in the Abbey and Macleod Centres. It is the end of the season of pilgrimage here. We will wash walls, paint the Abbey kitchen, scrub floors and prepare the space to rest until the next cycle of activity in March of 2011. I will eagerly fall into the rhythm of work and prayer seeking in this simplicity to listen for heaven and the voice of God.

 

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