Greetings from Melrose

Tuesday began with an early breakfast and the ferry off Iona a little before 9 o’clock. The memory of evening prayer at the Abbey was still fresh in my mind. There were prayers for justice in the world. The melody and words to “Here am I Lord” were still in my fresh in my mind. We had sung that hymn at the beginning of evening prayer at the Abbey. Wow! Darryl, please take note.

We all paused to take in the beauty of the island one last time as we headed down the hill from the hotel to the ferry.

The trip from Iona to Melrose was long, but passed through so many landscapes and lifestyles. First there was the simplicity and beauty Iona and the Isle of Mull. After the ferry back to the mainland at Oban, we traveled through some lovely villages surrounded by hills and lakes. As we got nearer to the cities of Glasgow and Edinburgh, the tranquility of the Highlands gave way to the motorways and urban life. Finally, we arrived here in the lovely Scottish Border town of Melrose.

We mused about how the Celtic saints had made this voyage without the ferries and highways.

We sat around a long table as a group for dinner last night. Conversations were lively, serious, and funny — all at the same time — as we reflected on the journey so far. There was a profound sense of fellowship.

Then we all looked inward to ourselves as Claire led evening prayer. I am typing this at 6am, and today we will visit Melrose Abbey.

– Walt Peters

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