Iona is the birthplace of Christianity in Scotland.
I read a novel MANY years ago about Saint Columba, or Collum Cille, who set up camp on Iona and missionaried the Scots in the mid 500's. I bought all the CDs from the band titled Iona.
Disjointed as usual... I said "on Iona" becasue it's an island - a small island off a larger island off the coast of Scotland.
I don't remember which came first for me, the love of Scotland itself or the interest in Iona and Celtic Christianity, but taken all together it has been a huge influence/interest/part of my life for many years.
I discovered Sir Walter Scot after reading the Betsy-Tacy books (which I was given the first of at a church Christmas party when I was 8, I think) and he was required reading for them but Betsy had already read and loved Scot. So I started Ivanhoe but it was a bit tough... Then one time I was staying with my Missionette leader Carol Kellner and she had CABLE (oooooo) and I got to see the old Ivanhoe movie and it inspired me to read the book again, so I did that time. And then when I was in England before, with Mom and Dad, I bought the full set of Waverly novels, and "Tales of a Grandfather." I like Robert Louis Stevenson and read David Balfour out loud to my Dad once.
And then I finally started Stephen Lawhead when I was 15 (and I know Ganeida has a bone to pick with him, but I think it's because she hasn't really read it ;-P ) and got all wrapped up in the Celticness of things, and it just goes on.
So don't misunderstand me. I describe myself as "a bit of an Anglophile" but when it comes down to it, I'd choose Scotland over England anytime. I still can't believe they beheaded Charles. And then when James VI finally took over he turned English and more or less left Scotland cold! Argh!
But to the point of this whole blather.
My virtual friend, Kim, is giving away a set of CDs from Vision Forum's trip to Scotland a few months ago. And this opened up a bit of a sore spot with me. Because I'M IN ENGLAND. I'm RIGHT HERE, and didn't get to go with the tour up to (drumroll) IONA. I'd heard a vague rumor someplace that VF was going to Scotland, but I checked the website, the blog, the calender of events several times and there was NOTHING about it. At least they could have said "Yes, we are going, but the tour is full too bad suckers" but there was not a single mention of it. Then, all of a sudden, they are reporting live from Iona. It's on the blog, on Everyday News, in the store... And it just made me sick that this is one VF event that we actually could have been a part of, but weren't. Of all the places I'd love to go, and probably will go on our own (which will be interesting enough, but lacking in the spiritual significance without the historians and preachers there to guide us), and we were already here when they came - we could have met them at the airport with fresh cookies! - and we missed it.
So, Kim, if you actually come over and read this, can you give Mr. Phillips a big old punch on the arm for me and tell him he'd better come back next year and advertise this time! Well, maybe be nice about it, but still.
So there, I blogged about it. :-) Yes, all the yelling is done tongue in cheek. And thanks, Kim, for the reminder to go check out the balladeer's music and all the other stuff I wanted to do when it was breaking news.