Monday afternoon: The best weather all week was forecast for Monday, so we got tickets for the trip to the island of Staffa, made famous by Felix Mendelsohn’s Hebrides Overture (“Fingal’s Cave”). The island approached, black and columnar on the horizon, as our little wooden boat, the Iolaire of Iona, pitched and rolled on the rough seas, making it difficult to capture the gaping sea caves cut into the island’s southern cliffs. Bruce from our church was with us, returning to see the condition of the railing that he had installed more than 30 years ago. After a rough, wet landing on the lee side of the island, the group of us stepped onto the rough hexagons formed by the tops of the basalt columns that make up the island, created by quick-cooled lava from an undersea volcanic eruption 60 million years ago. We edged along the path for a couple hundred meters, between crashing waves and basalt columns, extremely grateful for Bruce’s rails, which he told us were made of high tension electric transmission lines. We edged around the end of the island and into Fingal’s Cave itself, terrifying with the waves booming and roaring. It didn’t sound like the Mendelsohn piece to me, at least in any literal sense, but it certainly was amazing, and I will remember it for the rest of my life.
5. Mindfulness and the Four Elements
7. Beer and Hymns