In the Fog Like a Ghost

Iona Abbey in the Fog

Iona Abbey in the Fog

13 March 2014
7:37 pm

Iona

T. —

I woke up this morning and walked out of the house and down the path to the post office, and looked to find the whole island blanketed in fog. A low-lying fog, making it impossible to see the Isle of Mull across the Sound: mountains disappearing overnight, sinking straight into the water. It reminded me of Hippolyte’s Island by Barbara Hodgson, which is really a spectacular book, that you should really try to get your hands on. I’ve only ever seen it in hardcover, but I will hunt it down in paperback and send it to you.

It was Wendy’s birthday this morning. We gathered for breakfast, and I made a fruit salad with some syrup I had saved when I drained the apricots a few days ago. I cut the oranges in half, then sliced them like an onion into thin wedged slices. They looked like sunrise in a bowl. I stayed for the birthday chat, for breakfast and the opening of presents, but all I wanted to do was to slip out the door like a shadow and stand in the fog like a ghost.

When I left the Abbey to collect Freya at lunch, the fog had crept even closer:

Afternoon fog and the Abbey

Afternoon fog and the Abbey

The fog conceals in layers. It reminds me of a diorama with different layers, where the fog can creep in and cover some things but not others. As you move further, less is visible. First, it takes the mountains. Then the sea. Then the sky. Then the village. Then the Abbey. Then, it is just me: walking alone in a blanket of mist. Stunningly beautiful.

I think fog is my favorite type of weather. Although, as one islander said, “It’s beautiful, but not when you’re wanting to take the ferry.”

I have a few friends on this island. That’s a really nice feeling.

I chaired dinner today, which means announcing the food, explaining which is gluten-free and dairy-free, giving grace before the meal, and holding a moment of silence after. The grace I chose:

For food that gives us life,
and friends that give us love of life,
thanks be to God.

How are you feeling?

Goodnight,
M

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