A while ago I received an email from a dear friend family friend, Judy. She told me I should go to a place called Iona off the coast of Scotland. She hasn't been there herself, but a friend goes there and has reported an intense spiritual energy and connection to the place. Somewhere in the haze of my memory, I seemed to have heard that somewhere else, and my guide book happens to say the same thing. So, following Kurt Vonnegut's implied advice I decided that I would make Iona a part of my trip. As it turned out through the twists and turns of scheduling from the road I was able to book two nights on the magical isle for this coming Tuesday and Wednesday. Fortuitously, these happen to be around the full moon, which seemed right. And they also happen to be very near the end of my trip, which seemed even more right.
After I booked Iona, I worked backwards and found someplace to stay on the island right across the water, The Isle of Mull, for the three nights before hand. That is where I am now. If I walked outside I could stare across the water at the beautiful Abbey on Iona, one of the many Christian churches erected prominently on old Pagan pilgrimage sites so that the church can show the world who they think is boss. That's okay though, spiritual energy, when it's really clicked on has no boundaries, no names, and we can all sit together and commune with it whether we are under a stone temple or sitting next to an oak tree by a well.
I have not gone across the water yet to Iona. I feel that I want to look at the island for a few days. I feel as if I am preparing myself. I want to take some time to journal and to remember this trip as it has been up till this point. Then I want to go across the water and step into what I feel will be one of those profound doorways from "what was" into "what will be". Don't ask me to explain that, it is just an intuition, I don't know what it means or what it will entail.
What I do know is that as I drove from the ferry dock that brought me to Mull to the little town I am staying in that houses the ferry terminal for Iona, my heart started to ache and open and tingle.
Then I got another strange travel suggestion. The innkeeper where I am staying, Jillian, said while holding a little pamphlet, "Well you should take this boat to Staffa while you are here." I didn't know anything about it, but I thought, why not, I have three days on Mull and not a lot to do. So, I went this morning.
I must go back to a third travel suggestion that three people gave me right at the start of my trip. They all said that I had to go to The Giant's Causeway when I was in Northern Ireland. That strange place is a mass of hexagonal rock formations that stick up out of the earth for miles around. The pictures of it look breathtaking. So when I was in Northern Ireland I kept trying to go. I got The Paperboys interested in going. We kept talking about it, but could not get there. At one point I thought about going by myself on a bus, but my suitcase prevented it.
So, I had to let The Giant's Causeway go. I was gracious and zen about it, but deep down, I was kind of disappointed. No, I was really disappointed. It was the one place on this whole trip that I'd really invested an interest in going to and I didn't make it.
So, today. I got on my little boat bound for Staffa. As we set off the Captain told us of the wildlife we would see and about the massive cave that Mendelssohn wrote a symphony about, but he mentioned nothing else remarkable about the island. And off we went.
As we neared Staffa I could hardly believe my eyes. Can you guess?
The whole island is made of the same geological, hexagonal formations as The Giant's Causeway!
I was stunned. I thought, "this can't be, there's only one place in the world with those formations, isn't that what all the guide books said.....? "
Then the ever-helpful captain came on the speakers again and told us that this island was made out of the same geographical formations as The Giant's Causeway in Northern Ireland.
It was confirmed....someone, something, somewhere was nudging me where I needed to go and I am so glad I listened, because at that moment I could feel how this whole trip has been a series of dancing lessons and somehow The Giant's Causeway, that particular hexagonal splendor of the Earth had simply sent me out in a spin and patiently waited for me to find my way back....not to the same place on the dance floor....but never-the-less, we made it in to each other's arms safely and with ease, as if I'd known the steps all along.