This past week I was nostalgic, thinking of the last week of September in 2017 when I was in Iona, Scotland. Each day I've remembered what our group of forty retreat participants were doing. There are things that I learned there that have stayed with me. That Saturday before we checked in at the Abbey, … Continue reading Live Boldly!
Over the past few days, I've felt a longing for Iona, Scotland. It has been two years since I traveled there on my Solo Journey, the first to an international pilgrimage site. I chose that island located in the Inner Hebrides to attend a week at The Abbey. There I joined forty other participants in … Continue reading Serendipitous Friend: Treasure from Iona
We stood at the West Tisbury shuttle bus stop on a Saturday afternoon in Martha’s Vineyard. I’d been experiencing that island in Massachusetts for the first time, staying in a hostel for $27.00 a night—the only way I could afford that expensive place. I’d enjoyed the morning at the Farmer’s Market at the Grange Hall … Continue reading The Stranger on the Bus
It’s been over two weeks since I returned from my pilgrimage to Iona. I’ve often thought of the people from our community at the Abbey, remembering their faces and snippets of conversations. I can feel the chill of that early morning air and remember the fierce wind that was sometimes mixed with rain. When I … Continue reading Bringing Home the Boon
I’ve encountered reactions to my Southern accent on my journeys outside the Southeast. But I didn’t expect to when I traveled to Iona. In an international place, I assume there’ll be many accents so that none will stand out. That’s what I’d experienced on my trips to New York City --so many foreign tongues that … Continue reading Southern Drawl
We gather. Forty-one of us from around the world, pilgrims to Iona, Scotland. We share stories of our lives, in one-to-one conversations across the table, in our dorm rooms as we prepare for the day, in dyads during morning sessions. How interesting what has brought each person to this place-- all unique yet with the common … Continue reading We Gather
When I was a girl, my only grandparent was Ola Gilchrist Smith who was my mother’s mother. She lived on a farm about twenty miles from my house and was a pillar of her small church-- Cedar Rock Presbyterian in Harnett County, North Carolina. There are lots of Presbyterian churches in that area where Highland … Continue reading Packing Grandma for Pilgrimage
Pilgrimage is an invitation to the unknown. This year on my solo journey to Iona, Scotland, I’ll be going to an ancient pilgrimage site. I’ve reserved my week at the Abbey where I’ll live in an international community of staff and guests. My information sheet gives me some idea of what it’ll be like; it’s … Continue reading Pilgrimage: Invitation to the Unknown