After departing Glencoe last Sunday afternoon, April 30, we took a series of planes, ferries and automobiles to our first destination, the Isle of Iona, Scotland, arriving on Thursday, May 4. The weather was (and remains) spectacular! Sunshine every day.
Being on the island of Iona for two nights felt like our sabbatical had truly begun. Iona has long been identified as a "thin place." As George McLeod, founder of the Iona Community, put it: "...a thin place where only tissue paper separates the material from the spiritual." In many ways, it was Jen's desire to visit Iona that set the stage for our entire sabbatical. Years ago I gave her an autobiography by John Hull, "Touching the Rock: An Experience of Blindness." It is his incredibly moving and inspiring story about going blind in adulthood and how he learned to see and know the world without sight. The narrative culminates in an account of his pilgrimage to Iona where, late one night, he makes his way to the Abbey Church and feels his way to the stone altar...there he touches the rock. No better place for us to begin our sabbatical pilgrimage.
On Saturday, we drove and ferried from Iona to our next destination--the Isle of Skye. We arrived here on Saturday afternoon to settle into our rental home where we will be for the next three weeks. Since arriving we have been unpacking and settling in and exploring the area a bit. Skye is an incredible place. We took our first hike yesterday afternoon...about the time you all would have been gathering for worship. We remembered you amidst the beauty and majesty of this landscape.
I have included several pictures below to give you a sense of our experience thus far. I plan to post here once a week...but don't hold me to that! I will send a congregation-wide email every time I post a new journal entry.
In great gratitude,