iona once more

It's a year ago since I was on Iona yet the island lingers unexpectedly and with persistence.

April Szuch's poem Iona: One-Year Anniversary (click to read) expresses surprise at the depth of her remembering.

With joy I remember who we were: two kind friends from Scarborough; a chaplaincy group mischief-making, singing and running; a beautiful couple newly-wed; ministers old and new, ordained and otherwise called; four women from Iowa (and Joe!), full of years, life and courage. Many of us had planned to visit years before arriving. We were many at times of change or contemplation.

With thanks I remember the space and sanctuary of structure and simplicity. Toast duty, breakfast, morning prayers at the abbey, chats over coffee and the paper, walking down to the beach, wholesome food followed by fiercely contested giant Connect 4, discussion, rich soup and warm baked bread, sunset, evening prayers, stumbling back in the dark, listening to Mark Radcliffe before falling asleep.

With longing I remember the sea, calling me persistently from where I sat on the white sands until I was part of it, a moment of such peace; a gift of blue-green depths to clarify, refresh and sustain me.