We parted in Edinburgh–David for the airport and I headed for Waverly Train station. The remainder of our trip together we were able to do the things we planned, just more slowly and with more caution. I felt that tension of transition, saying “Goodbye”to David, praying for his travel with a crutch, and moving into my role as solo traveler.
Now I joined those pilgrims from other places, stepping onto the path to Iona.
My seat to Oban was across the table from a very friendly Scottish couple, Agnes and David. He lifted my luggage into the overhead bin and was eager to share information about places along our route. He was an avid golfer and loved seeing my photos of my son’s course near Charleston. Agnes eventually warmed to the conversation and by our destination, showed me pictures of their seven grandchildren.
We said goodbyes and wished each other safe travels. I hurried to the ferry ticket office, heeding the caution in my instructions from the Iona Abbey to not linger at the nearby shops. Once on the boat, I found a quiet spot, needing the fresh air and solitude after a richly stimulating morning.
After the forty-five minute ferry ride, I climb aboard the West Coast bus to Fionnphort. We crossed the isle of Mull with its stunning and remote beauty, rarely a house in view, hills dotted in white, sheep grazing on the brownish-green grass and other vegetation. After riding more than an hour, we arrive at our destination.
My lodging for the next two nights is Seaview B & B that overlooks the sound. I can see Iona and think, I’m really here. After all my dreaming, planning, praying– I’m now at the threshold of Iona and my week of living in the community of the Abbey.
I’m glad I have some time to rest before I enter that space. John and Jane, who own the B & B, are wonderful hosts. Jane prepares a delicious dinner of lamb and potatoes on my first night and a hearty and tasty breakfast both mornings. John describes himself as “the chatty one” and provides essential information, including to take the early ferry this morning when I departed. High winds may shut the ferry down in the afternoon.
The crew prepare for the walkers and one car to board the ferry. I look across to the Abbey and wonder; what will it be like to live in a community for a week? how will I fit in? how will I manage with no possible escape route like I usually have on my journeys? Like before, I just have to step forward in faith, trusting this as the right path for me.
I’ll end this post early and ask readers to understand that it’s been difficult to post this in real time– spotty wifi, problems loading current pictures, using a tablet keyboard with so many problems. I’ll post a day early while I can. But I persist because I want you to join me on my journey and make it yours. We take the path to Iona and through life together.
Peace to you.