Return to Iona


Boat ride to Staffa, south west Scotland, 2001

For many years thousands of people of different religious beliefs have travelled to the island of Iona off the northwest coast of Scotland for reflection, learning and inspiration. Iona means dove. It is the place of the dove and a place of peace and healing.

In 2001, after his first round of treatment for bowel cancer, my husband Darryl and I travelled Europe for six months. During our time in Scotland we spent idyllic days at Oban and travelled the royal road to Iona, took the boat ride out to Staffa where Mendelson is purported to have found inspiration

This island inspired Dr Francis Macnab, Executive Minister of St Michael’s and his congregation to create a nondenominational oasis of relief, joy and spiritual uplifting in the busy heart of Melbourne. Mingary is named for a place on the island of Mull, near Iona.

I too was inspired by the serenity of Mull and as Darryl weakens at a frightening rate I share, in this temple, much like the Abbey at Iona, a photo of our idyllic time there. It is memories such as this which are sustaining me here in our Mingary, the Temple of Solace.


6 thoughts on “Return to Iona”

  1. This is the place of hope. This is the place to leave hope and leave with hope. This is the place where memory sustains us, where memories will bring us comfort when nothing else can.

  2. This post brought tears to my eyes. Thank goodness people have the foresight to create havens like this, Iona, and Mingary, because we sorely need them in our world. Beautiful post and beautiful photograph, Heather.

  3. Oh, Heather! This is beautiful.

    I’ve been to Iona and it is a wonderous place, as is the Isle of Mull. My husband I toured around Scotland in 1993. We rented a car and off we went, over 900 miles in one week. We had an itinerary of sorts, but ended up in places we hadn’t planned on due to local people recommending them. Iona was one of those places. It was this trip that first made me realize there are no coincidences. Things happen as and when they should.

  4. that’s a fine smile, lad ..
    and arms to grip the world with ….

    I’d say a man shaking your hand
    would know it — also that they
    could dry a tear


  5. Thanks everyone. Darryl is a gorgeous gentle man and has a strong handshake. A strong handshake is an imperative as far as I am concerned.

    Like you Robin, we reached Iona after being told by one of our hosts that it was a must visit. We never had a forward booking and never got lost because we never knew where we were going. Six months on the road – 45000 kilometres later we staggered back in to Paris. It was the trip of a lifetime but the Royal Road and Iona will always be etched in my memory. It was a very special part of our journey.

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