Iona is a very special pilgrimage site. It took forever to get there. One plane, three buses, and two boats.
There is a little chapel just beyond the Celtic Cross in this photo on Iona. I went there to pray at dusk. As I sat in silence I heard rustling. Feathers. There were swallows nesting above my head. I sat in silence for an hour just watching the swallows fly in an out of the little chapel to feed their babies. It was the best way I knew how to pray. To just be present. Listen. Watch. Be. It was truly one of the most holy experiences.
This reminds me of one of my favorite poems by Mary Oliver.
The Summer Day
Mary OliverWho made the world?
Who made the swan, and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper, I mean-
the one who has flung herself out of the grass,
the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down-
who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.
Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.
Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.
I don't know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn't everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?
I need a Tranquil Tuesday...on a Wednesday. I've been so busy that I've missed a few Tuesdays and my gut hurts because I haven't taken a break. Breath with me. Turn off, unplug and be quiet.