The Cathedral of St. Philip - Atlanta, GA

Some thoughts about our week on Iona

Posted on by Ginny and Stuart Arey

When Ginny and I signed up in 2017 to go on the Pilgrimage to Iona, we really had no idea what a pilgrimage was. We did know we would be going with good friends, both clergy and others from the Cathedral, our church home while we lived in the Atlanta area. We also knew we were going back to Scotland, a place we had visited several times in the past. Finally, Iona is an island and we always like going to islands, especially new ones! What did we find when we got to Iona? While we both experienced the pilgrimage in slightly different ways, we both were very grateful for our week on Iona. Ginny continues to remember that Iona made it clear how noisy a world we all live in and how the silence, of not only our sessions of meditation in the Abbey, but also of quiet walks on the island, were very meaningful. Silence was also an important part of my experience. During some outdoor sessions of meditation, I would be looking over fields where corncrake, a small ground hugging bird, would break the silence by calling loudly looking to attract a mate across the field. Having heard, but not seen a corncrake, I was hoping to see one on this trip. While I never saw one during the week, I came away with the thought maybe that was good. As we learned more about spirituality and our own faith, we know we do not need to “see” with our eyes everything we believe. The trip was very meaningful to us both and we were glad we made that decision in 2017 to go to Iona.