Setting Out for Iona

In just a couple of weeks, I’ll be setting out again to travel to Iona. It will be my third trip in three years so you know it is a place that draws me. I’m not alone in this. Each year, women and men make their way to this little island from all around the world.

So how did Iona get started and why do people come? Well, it’s a bit of a mystery.

Legend has it that people lived on the island before Columba arrived in 563 AD to found

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Jenny Rankin
Getting ready for the road

I’m getting ready to set out for Iona, a sacred island off the coast of Scotland. It will be my third trip there in the space of three years so I guess you can tell it is a place that draws me.

Recently, I gathered with a group of people who will be on the retreat I am leading. It was interesting, and moving, to listen to them speak about what had motivated them to travel to Iona.

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Jenny Rankin
Throw open the windows of your soul

I don’t know why I’ve always liked these words from Marcus Aurelius; I know they may come off at first at sounding kind of harsh.

But I think he is on to something wise here. These words motivate me to think more deeply about how I am living and what parts of my life, my soul may need some “fresh air.”

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Jenny Rankin
Sketching amongst the masses

On Sunday I went out on my bike with the intention of filling some pages in a little sketchbook, pages that have been empty for too long. Somehow I found myself leaving Italy to enter Vatican City, inside St. Peter’s Basilica for the first time in years.

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Tom Rankin
On the trail of Margaret Fuller in Italy

I’ve always loved what Margaret Fuller wrote about the “miseries” of a New England spring. She wasn’t far off the truth. We get so hopeful this time of year. I even made the mistake of planting seeds in my garden one warm Saturday in March, totally jumping the gun! We are just eager to get on with it. But Fuller was right, the spring wind is sharp and cutting and cold.

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J Rankin