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With a Heart of Gratitude
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With a Heart of Gratitude

 
  pilgrimage cottage waymarker  
  posted November 4, 2011  
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Today is a day of last shared experiences. The last breakfast, lunch and dinner as a community of work week volunteers, long-term vollies and permanent staff. We celebrated the last morning prayer service together. We will complete our work assignments by Noon and have free time in the afternoon for our personal rituals and celebrations of letting go of this time and space. Some folks will walk to North beach. Others will hike to the Machair or the top of Dun I.

I was the last person to sign the reservation sheet for the Caledonian MacBrayne ferry and Bowman bus for our transportation back to Oban tomorrow. I had toyed with the idea of staying on Iona and taking the late ferry back to Oban but it seems right somehow to leave with all those I have worked with. It is part of being in community. Iona will still be here and I will return.

By fully marking the last things I also focus on a first thing, gratitude. In my rituals of letting go I will thank individual people for their gifts and sharing. Thank you to Fiona for the evening story time by the fire in the Common Room. Thank you to TC for sharing her faith and healing experiences. Thank you to Margaret for sharing dog stories. Thank you to George and Jim for their humor which helped to ease the aching bones in our bodies during work week. Thank you to the permanent staff who so quickly wove us into community.

Thank you to Columba and the early community of monks who came to live here in 560. Thank you to the Benedictines who established a monastery and built the first Abbey. Thank you to George Macleod for the vision and energy to rebuild a ruin in the 1930’s and in doing so create a new model for Christian community. Thank you to all who come here year after year seeking the healing energy of this “thin place” where heaven and earth seem to touch. You all are a blessing.

 

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