Scotland 2015 #5 – Staffa, Concert & all sorts of interesting stuff

 It’s just after 2.30 on a now-sunny Iona afternoon as Dale and I share tea and coffee at the St Columba Hotel just down the road from the Mac. It also doubles as our wifi spot. That’s the view from our bay window. Mull in the distance.

The sessions with the Wild Goose team continue to go well. They’re really stretching us when it comes to creativity and openness in exploring scripture and in possibilities in worship.

Days ago we paid our $100 for the 3 hour return boat trip to the famous island of Staffa, 10 km off Mull and site of puffins in season and particularly Fingal’s Cave – the inspiration for Mendelsohn’s Hebrides Overture.  Yesterday morning we woke to terribly windy and wet weather. By large, the sun was out and the wind down. I really enjoyed the trip, though the boat did do its share of lurching from side to side on the choppy seas. 

Staffa (along with some adjacent islands) is famous for its amazing vertical basalt columns, and of course, the cave. Here are just some of the many pictures we took on the way to this island almost 60 million years old …


We got back soon after 5 pm, wind and seaspray swept but time well spent, though sadly not puffin season.

Evening worship was not worship in the traditional sense; not worship all that closely. Rather, almost every available space, book or cranny in the Abbey was set up for a 60 minute “installation” coordinated by Graham Maule – connecting us with that rarelty read and barely understood book, Song of Songs (of Solomon). I found this a rich experience at exploring and reflecting on passionate love – though 19 hours on, I still felt a struggle to make sufficient “God connections”. But that’s me. 8 different opportunities at various stations. Some of the visuals were quite “out there”eg a bed placed in the centre of the abbey – red sheets and pillows. 

Last night we had the weekly guests concert. It was a hoot. Dale and I performed, not for the first time, our Pete Seeger medley. Very well received. Time prevented us from sharing my recent song, Bring your peace, Lord – prompted by recent journey with “Mike” and his family up to his recent passing.

I’m enjoying this free afternoon – chance to go at my own pace. A few random other pics from recent days.

Tomorrow, sadly we head off. An early breakfast is followed by a Leaving Service in the Abbey – then down the well trodden road to the ferry. Then off in our hire car to the other side of Mull, car ferry to Oban, then off to our lodgings on the banks of Loch Ness.




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