I’ve dreamt about going to Iona. It’s known as a thin place, where heaven and earth meet, where people focus on unity and peace. Also, the birthplace of the Book of Kells which has fascinated me for years. It is a pilgrimage to get there from where we live: two long plane rides, bus shuttle, train, ferry, bus, and ferry.

“Iona” Photograph Valerie Sjodin©
Fuschia bushes were in abundance on Iona, even outside our hotel
“Iona” Photograph Valerie Sjodin©
Here is the view outside our room:
“Iona” Photograph Valerie Sjodin©
We walked during the day and evening to the Abbey:
“Iona” Photograph Valerie Sjodin©
The Cloisters are my favorite part. After services, we were invited for tea in the cloisters and to visit with someone we didn’t know. It fostered a sense of peace and community. We even met Lizzie who knows our good friends back home. A small world.
“Iona” Photograph Valerie Sjodin©
“Iona” Photograph Valerie Sjodin©
I spent some time in Columba’s Chapel located behind the cross:
“Iona” Photograph Valerie Sjodin©
“Iona” Photograph Valerie Sjodin©
Meaningful time spent…Worship…
Our first evening there we walked into the little chapel in the ancient cemetery. A group was worshiping. The instrument was a tuning fork and something with a rim. People found their note, offering praise. We were invited into the circle. Each person gave a single word. More worship. We hugged people we had never met, left, and felt we had just been a part of something holy, simple beauty.
“Iona” Photograph Valerie Sjodin©
I came back another day, lighting a candle in prayer…
“Iona” Photograph Valerie Sjodin©
In the middle of our trip, we met up with our daughter and Son-in-Love. To read about their travels and see her art travel journal visit: http://atravelingtwo.blogspot.com/

3 Comments

  1. Valerie – you've taken my breath away with this post. I can't decide which I love most, Iona itself or that amazing keepsake book you've produced. It is truly lovely. There's coming a day when hubby and I will be able to get away and recharge our batteries, and I think you might have just found us the perfect place. Thank you so much. Have a great week, Chris x

  2. I feel like I got to visit there a little too! The Abbey and the fuschias would have been my favorite…I love being in ancient places, holy places – where God's eternal nature seems so manifest…someday. someday.

    Thanks for sharing!

  3. Iona is on my to-go list as are a lot of other places in Scotland. I live in such a thin place, where heaven and earth are close and meet in agreement. Or, maybe it's because I keep the gate locked.
    It's still beautiful though; some of God's best handwork.

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