Not forgotten…


Ruins of Iona’s early Nunnery.

It often happens by accident: you wind up in a place that hits a chord within you and will likely never leave your memory. I recently had the pleasure to stumble onto a small island, hardly on the map, called Iona. I hadn’t planned on visiting the island, as I was on a neighboring, larger island (Mull) to visit a distillery. What a mistake that would have been…

Iona is known as one of the earliest sites of Christianity in Scotland, dating back to the 6th century when St Columba, an Irish missionary, established a community here. The remains of an ancient Nunnery and the now restored Abbey are a treat for the senses. No matter what your religious inclinations are, if any, the feeling here walking among these sites is one of peace and humility.


One of the many ancient Celtic crosses on the island.

I was told by one of the men on the ferry to keep walking along the road past the Abbey should I want to visit a “nice beach”. I took his advice and followed the road, all the way to the north end of this tiny island, where I walked onto what was undoubtedly one of the most dramatically beautiful beaches I’ve seen. As I walked along the water’s edge at low tide, I couldn’t help but think how special these small places in the world are. And maybe how often they’re forgotten.


Some very dear friends of mine just had a loss in their family. She was an amazing woman, living well into her nineties, and full of zeal and warmth. I knew her only casually, but was always impressed with her spirit and at ease around her smile. She’ll be missed, without doubt, but not forgotten.

Sometimes people, like unknown places, tend to affect us more than we realize. How many countless generations have been on this island, watching loved ones grow, flourish, and eventually, pass? The ancient standing stones and Celtic crosses that dot the land give me some indication of this, but I wonder how many have been unrecorded. This journey of mine has taught me to take nothing for granted, honor the life I have at the moment, and consider all that has come before me. Although I didn’t get the chance to say goodbye to her, I say it now.


With love to G&C, and all of their family,



~ by Jared on June 4, 2009.

2 Responses to “Not forgotten…”

  1. You are a dear good soul. Blessed to have you as a friend. Oh honey, thank you she would say. My Mom and family was so touched by your words and warm thoughts during this hard time. Hugs and warm thoughts to you, love C & C.

  2. thanks Jared. Sorry I just got around to reading this. Lovely and well put. Once again wish we could share your island experience.

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