Iona – Kissed by God

After my community week on Erraid, I moved to the island which I had in sight most of the week, Iona. 

Iona is a little bigger than Erraid and has a different energy, much more soft and full of love as I slowly discovered. Thousands of people are called to visit Iona during the year, most of them just come for the day to visit the main sites and then return to Mull with a short ferry ride. 

I was a bit doubtful if my choice of camping was a good idea in September, but as I had left booking a bit late, I did not have so many other options. And it turned out fantastic. The Iona campsite rents tents, mats and sleeping bags, so I did not have to carry everything and lived in a very spacious lovely tent. I did beinring, however my own sleeping bag which was a good idea as particularly the first two nights were clear and thus cold.

The first morning greeted me with a cloud free blue sky. I had my morning tea outside of my tent on a little grass covered hill of rocks in the morning sun. That was the first of many magic moments on this island, when I felt completely happy and at peace. From where I was sitting, I could see Erraid across the water and enjoyed the fresh and clear energy of the place.  There is something very nurturing about the island, on another day I had the feeling of being in the womb of a soft and loving mother, completely protected and receiving all I need. 

Many visitors come for the peacefulness and tenderness they can feel here. Yes, very tangible as if the love is coming out of the rocks. 

Iona is made from some of the oldest rocks that exist on earth. Some of the rocks are 2900 million years old. And while sitting on one of the rocks I got the feeling that they came directly from the primordial fire. As close to the beginning of time on earth as possible, maybe this can explain the presence of love from the initial impulse of evolution. 

And heaven is already connected to earth here as I could feel in my walking practice. This also led to the expression Kissed by God which I used in the title. A very special place indeed. 

Iona became famous as a point of pilgrimage after St. Colomba left Ireland to found a monastery on Iona in the sixth century. Thousands of pilgrims came to the island after he died and his holy bones were placed in a shrine. Also kings and lords chose to be buried here, possibly to be closer to God.

Before St. Colomba came and helped to spread Christianity from here, some very interesting things must have been going on here, the island was a place for rituals and sacred work of druids, for many years some kind of headquarters for their work as I read in an article in the internet. 

On my walks across the island and through very boggy farmland I stopped to connect to the spirit of the island which becomes a new practice for me. As far as I understood, Iona is and was an important point of connection to other sacred places on Earth. One aspect of the connection is to keep balance on Earth. 

I am very curious to find out more about what the druids worked on in ancient times. So many new realms I am learning about. 

Besides my contacts with subtle worlds, I also enjoyed lovely moments with fellow humans. The campsite was fairly empty, however John and his dog where there most of the time. John was very friendly and helpful and nice, I liked when during one of our chats he said about himself that he likes talking. Yes, he did. He told me of interesting places to walk to. And one evening he asked me to bring a particular beautiful stone, he had found that day, to his wife who participated in an organized week in the Iona Abbey, built on the site where once Colomba founded his monastery. I joined two of the evening services there and delivered the stone.

Another camper was Steve, a cyclist who I had met in the self service coffee place one morning and who decided to stay on the island after our chat. We spent one sunny day together, lots of fun and interesting exchange. And he came with me to one of the services in the abbey which he enjoyed much more than he had anticipated as he described himself as an aetheist. We walked to the bay where Colomba supposedly first arrived in his boat with 12 disciples. A magic place, a very sheltered pebble beach and some rocks to sit and climb on. It was warm enough to spend some time and enjoy the sun and the peaceful atmosphere. The way to and from the bay lead us through often boggy marsh land along a lake and sometimes meeting other visitors on their way to one of the most visited places on the island, Colomba Bay. 

On the way to the campsite I walked past the house of a massage practicioner and decided to have a massage after having walked past a few times. The day after the massage was my most social day of the week. As if the livelyness that I felt in my body after the massage attracted people to me the next day. Very interesting experience, planning to repeat this. 

I had conversations with different people and then even met three ladies who I had spent the week with on Erraid, who were there for another week and chose to go visit Iona on their free day. They invited me to tea and scone in one of the two hotels on Iona. A fun day. 

I was very lucky with the weather. Camping could have been much less comfortable otherwise. And although I had to sleep with my hat on and even gloves for two nights, I would not have wanted it any other way. Being so immersed in nature and sleeping directly on the Earth is very nurturing for me. I sleep deep and well and enjoy being outside most of the day. 

 

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