Making a journey is always about going from where we are now to another place—a higher realm of consciousness.
Iona is known as Scotland’s sacred isle, labeled iishona, meaning blessed isle. The fact that the wise Druids and no less than 30 great Scottish chieftains were laid to rest on Iona attests to the sense of holiness of the place. That is why for hundreds of years people have made a pilgrimage to the island, curious about its extraordinary powers that seem to leave no one untouched. Perhaps it is because of the unique geographical formations dating back hundreds of years, as well as the energy spots that seem to create a thin veil between oneself and the supernatural. Whatever the reason, those called to Iona leave changed.
And “called” you must be. Who else would take such an arduous trip—a flight across the Atlantic, train ride to a seaport town, ferry to the Isle of Mull, bus across Mull, and finally the ferry to Iona. But once there, a woman can find sanctuary in every corner of this empty, yet wild place.
So it always is for me each year, when I seek another dose of inner peace and have the desire to re-ignite my wilting spirit. “For people over thirty,” Carl Jung said, “all problems are spiritual rather than psychological.” Each time I take a stab at individuation, I realize that I don’t quite know what I’m looking for– just that I am looking for something.
But retreating close to home can bring the same serenity for an earnest seeker. The artist, Andrew Wyeth knew this when he settled in Brandywine, Pennsylvania. It simply was his place. He believed that everything he would ever want to capture on canvas could be found within a four-mile radius.
May you take some small inspiration from my tales and pictures of Iona and then find your blessed isle closer to your home.
Questions to Ponder
Have you been wondering who you are beyond the roles that you play, looking for a new direction, contemplating a change. If you have asked such questions you are being given a wake-up call to devote some time for yourself. There are 8700 hours in the year…isn’t it time you found a few just for you? To begin your quest, list what is outlived in your life– roles, ideals, people, In doing so you can begin to make room in order to embrace what is unlived.