Wednesday, April 17, 2013

The destination

Iona is a 3.4 square mile island 
in the Inner Hebrides, 
with a population of 125.
More beaches
and another island to explore
in my beloved Atlantic Ocean.

A friend and I were laughing
this past weekend 
given Hurricane Sandy 
my family's tradition
of being cremated and 
having their ashes scattered
on Long Beach Island, 
they will probably have arrived 
at Iona 
far before 
I do!

They won't be the only specters
or ghosts there...
from what I've read,
faeries and spirits are all over the island.

St Columba, a political and spiritual refugee
from Ireland, made Iona his home.
His missionary work brought Celtic Christianity 
to Scotland and the United Kingdom.

He and his monks began work on an illustrated manuscript
which the community brought back with them to Kells, Ireland
after a Viking raid (in the early 9th century) 
killed a sizable portion of their group. 

We know the manuscript today as The Book of Kells.
In 1200, a Benedictine abbey and nunnery were established on the island
and it is these now restored buildings that survive today.

Grave markers, original crosses with Norse runes on them, 
from the 10th and 11th centuries,
are part of the islands landscape,
both emotional and physical.

Hardly the destination of choice 
for those with a Las Vegas 
or Disneyland 

but perfect for me!
Be back early next month!

No comments: