A cerulean knife of water separates Iona and Mull, two islands holy in their own ways. A hard rain and a chill wind cavort beneath a monotonous gray sky as I exit the ferry and step on to the white powder beach of Iona. Handfuls of visitors straggle through the one-lane town toward Iona Abbey. Many of them stop, look toward it, and smile as the rain patters against their glasses. I turn back to the Sound of Iona, wild Mull in the distance, and gaze into the glassy waters.
Dolphins arc above the waves, their steely bodies break the air in musical arpeggios. They race alongside the small ferry that tirelessly tracks to Iona and Fionnphort and back. Some of the children on board point at the animals, but their parents are too busy peering through the misty air at the abbey. It’s a personal moment of clarity in what is a greater, ages-old conflict. The targets of our worship, be it ourselves or nature or something else entirely, color the way we see the world around us. The icy waters lap at my lonesome feet, and I choose blue.