J2A Greece Pilgrimage 2008

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Leaving Iona

Written entry by Jack Anderson follows the images

The Croft on Iona that took care of our hostel

Images from the journey to Edinburgh

A walk through the meadows of Edinburgh

“The story that we bring back from our journeys is the boon. It is the gift of grace that was passed to us in the heart of our journey. Perhaps it was in the form of an insight into our spiritual life, a glimpse of the wisdom traditions of a radically different culture, a shiver of compassion, an increment of knowledge. The ancient wisdom teachers taught that the ultimate answer to the sorrows of the world is the boon of increased self-knowledge.” -Phil Cousineau

It is Friday, the last time we will get to see Iona. The last time we spent on Iona was spent in the church, the abbey as it is referred to. We were unable to enjoy the last minutes of Iona because we had a ferry to catch to take us to Oban. We sadly waved goodbye to everyone on the island, as we will soon return to our normal lives. We sat on the ferry, looking at Iona as the island fades away as we move further and further away from it. Then we arrive at the island of Mull, right next to Iona, but not within view of Iona. We get on the bus to take us to the boat that will then take us back to the urban city of Oban. Then we sail on the ferry and reach Oban where we have fish and chips for lunch. We eat it right next to the train station. After we finish we get on the train that will take us to Edinburgh, an urban metropolis. Right as we get on the train, Dick, a friend we met in Iona, waves goodbye to us. As we look at him, we are happy to see him for the last time but are sad to know that we will be leaving him behind. It is never easy to say goodbye. We have finally made it to Edinburgh after an exhausting day of traveling from place to place. We are glad to reach it, but are sad to know that this means we are away from Iona. That night, after dinner, we sat in the central park of Edinburgh wondering what we will do now that we are away from Iona and heading towards home. After discussing it, we realized that we do not have to leave Iona behind, but we can take what we have learned from Iona and share it, pass it on to others once we get back home to Atlanta. Even though we have left Iona, we will still remember it as time passes by. This goes back to Tuesday, when we threw the rocks into the ocean and took one back with us. On Iona, we have left behind something old in us to bring back with us something new. We have taken our rock to remember what we learned and endured on Iona, and will pass it on as we return home, with something new that we hold and is in ourselves.

Jack Anderson


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