I know I’ve talked about my time spent in Scotland on this blog before. Lately, however, I’ve been thinking a lot specifically about my time spent on Iona, otherwise known as St. Columba’s Sacred Isle.
Iona is amazing. Anyone who doesn’t believe that fairy tales exist, clearly has never ventured to the Iona, or any part of Scotland for that matter. It has the most beautiful white beaches, crystal blue waters, lofty hills, windswept meadows, and the most fantastic celtic crosses, some of which are centuries old.
As magical as Iona is during the day, it was equally captivating at sunset.
One of my favorite moments on Iona wasn’t spent on the beach or hiking the hills. It was one evening in the hostel after dinner. Of all the hostels we stayed at in Scotland, Iona’s was the one that felt the most like home. That evening, we’d made a home-cooked meal, a luxury we hadn’t been able to enjoy at any of the other hostels. Don’t get me wrong, their food was fine, but it sort of reminded me of cafeteria food. On Iona, however, we prepared our own meal and cleaned up afterword. It was the sort of thing I never enjoy at home, but somehow, in that cozy island setting, it was like a scene straight out of a novel.
After we finished clean-up, a small group of us gathered around in the den. The den was right next to the dining area. It had a few bookshelves and a small nook next to a giant window that overlooked the vast fields leading down to the shore. Jeb, the leader of the group and our youth minister, brought out his guitar and started strumming. My sister and I each settled down onto one of the couches with the books we’d purchased at the airport (yes, we took our own books, but really, who can resist an airport bookstore?). She read Matched by Ally Condie. I’d selected Insatiable by Meg Cabot.
I actually really enjoyed it. Sadly, the sequel did not end the way I wanted it to. Oh well. You can’t win them all.
Jeb played a number of songs that evening, but the only one I remember is “Breakfast at Tiffany’s.” I remember it because every one of us in the room stopped what we were doing to sing along. It was just one of those magical moments. No computer. No television. Nothing but pure simplicity. Books, music, comfortable couches, and a sunset over the sea. I don’t think I’ve ever been more content.