I lived on this island for almost a year. I had at last taken the plunge and given up butchering. My desire was to get to university but had no qualifications.
I worked for a year on the building of the Abbey and in return I got food and a room. it was a time to study in the quiet nights. The island is three miles long and one and half miles wide. The total population is the winter months was about 80. In the abbey during the winter months there was only about six or seven of us.
I had many times during that winter when I wandered the island alone. I swam most days summer and winter. One of my favourite spots what the North Beach.
I remember one day in particular.
The North Beach Iona
I stood upon that lonely beach,
alone amidst its beauty
Cerulean the sea stretched to
to kiss the waiting sky.
The crashed on distant shores
Staffa and the Dutchman's Cap.
Bare footed I wandered warmed by golden sand.
Whispering grass on white faced dunes.
In the midst of majesty so rare
so small I felt.
Stooping took within my palm
a million grains of sand.
Each grain its place upon this beach
each playing its part.
contributing to the beauty of the day.
Insignificant I felt.
But I too had a part to play.
How easy it is to feel small and insignificant. But this feeling can so easily be made worse by the actions of others. A thoughtless word or deed. The act of pretending to notice and listen yet paying no heed to others.
It reminds me of the little mouse.
A mouse looked through the crack in the wall to see the farmer and his wife open a package. "What food might this contain?" the mouse wondered. He was devastated to discover it was a mousetrap.
Retreating to the farmyard, the mouse proclaimed the warning: "There is a mousetrap in the house! There is a mousetrap in the house!"
The chicken clucked and scratched, raised her head and said "Mr.Mouse, I can tell this is a grave concern to you, but it is of no consequence to me. I cannot be bothered by it."
The mouse turned to the pig and told him "There is a mousetrap in the house! There is a mousetrap in the house!" The pig sympathized, but said "I am so very sorry, Mr.Mouse, but there is nothing I can do about it but pray. Be assured you are in my prayers."
The mouse turned to the cow and said "There is a mousetrap in the house! There is a mousetrap in the house!" The cow said "Wow, Mr. Mouse. I'm sorry for you, but it's no skin off my nose."
So, the mouse returned to the house, head down and dejected, to face the farmer's mousetrap alone.
That very night a sound was heard throughout the house - like the sound of a mousetrap catching its prey. The farmer's wife rushed to see what was caught. In the darkness, she did not see it was a venomous snake whose tail the trap had caught. The snake bit the farmer's wife. The farmer rushed her to the hospital and she returned home with a fever.
Everyone knows you treat a fever with fresh chicken soup, so the farmer took his hatchet to the farmyard for the soup's main ingredient. But his wife's sickness continued, so friends and neighbors came to sit with her around the clock.
To feed them, the farmer butchered the pig.
The farmer's wife did not get well; she died. So many! people came for her funeral, the farmer had the cow slaughtered to provide enough meat for all of them.
The mouse looked upon it all from his crack in the wall with great sadness.
So, the next time you hear someone is facing a problem and think it doesn't concern you, remember: when one of us is threatened, we are all at risk. We are all involved in this journey called life. We must keep an eye out for one another and make an extra effort to encourage one another.
Each of us is a vital thread in another person's tapestry. We are all part of the great tapestry of Life.