Iona Writing Retreat
May 9, 2013
How did I get here? When did I decide this would be my path? Did I really have choices or did they just slow me down? Maybe bad choices aren’t anything more than lessons learned, lessons I was meant to learn this time around. So now I’m wondering how many times I have been around. It feels like a lot. Perhaps I’m just a slow learner with a long list of lessons facing the steep hill of a learning curve. How many times will I make this journey?
I knew the first time I saw my son that we had been on many journeys together. He is the old soul, the wise one, the guide. He’s a Libra, the balancing act, a weigher of options. I like to think of him weighing his options and deciding he wanted me as his mother, he wanted to journey with me again.
The spiral necklace I wear reminds me of my son and me, the sacred dance of the life death, birth cycle, spinning like Sufis into an altered state, whirling like Dervishes into joy. In Native American spirituality, the Grouse danced into action, bringing life to the prairies, attracting a mate and dancing into that space that is the next right thing.
Sometimes the next right thing is stepping into the silence. And it feels right that this journey to Iona is a journey of silences where I settle into the space that allows me to listen to my inner voice, the part of me that knows where this dance needs to lead me. And so it is that I come to this silence on Iona, the space between the spaces, to hold the paradox of movement and stillness.
Etched in Stone
Iona is etched in stone.
Layered in granite, pink and gray.
Balancing female and male energy.
And even though she is a thin place,
she is anchored in the sea by the rocks.
The restless water nipping at her shores,
changing the shapes of her rocks,
never to be replicated.
The wind doing its part,
in the shaping of this island.
But Iona continues to cling to her spot in this world,
as tenacious as the purple flowers
growing out of the stone walls
of the nunnery ruins.
Royal Purple for the kings brought here to rest.
The wind will not win this battle,
will never blow Iona away
Don’t think the stones are silent.
They are not.
They sing of Iona’s history.
They sing of her secrets.
Here we have time to listen.
We welcome her songs,
her stories, we need to hear.
Her secrets tell us
where we are in her journey.
This is why we return
to hear more of our story.
Here we are required
to be our authentic selves.
Here our stone masks removed,
and we are free to stand solidly
on Iona’s rocky shores.
We are free to fly.
Rebekah for the Poplar Grove Muse.