This week it is my pleasure to introduce you to Lee Ann Monat. She and I first met online over a year ago, when I posted my first recipe from the Outlander series over on my other blog.
We’ve been friends and mutual fans ever since. Over at Lion Art Creations Lee Ann shares her photography, art and her thoughts on changing her life’s path and re-creating it with intention. She began this journey years ago, inadvertently, when she opened her first copy of Outlander…a parallel journey to my own, which involved quitting my job and walking into a bookstore…but I’ll save that for another time.
Because today the spotlight is on Lee Ann, who recently began a much-sought-after tenure as a volunteer in the Abbey kitchen on the Isle of Iona in Scotland. Just the latest stopping point in a very interesting life, that has really only just begun…
(The following photos and words are Lee Ann’s.)
Way back in 2001, while living in New York City, I was gifted the first 4 books in the series for my birthday. As you can imagine, I was totally hooked (as most Outlander fans tend to be). So, when a week-long trip to London in 2004 turned into a two week UK road trip, I asked if we could pop into Scotland for a wee bit since the books made it sound so pretty.
Fast forward 8 years and I am currently volunteering in the Abbey Kitchen on the beautiful Isle of Iona, Argyll, Scotland for 5 months.
Right now, I’m jotting down ideas for this guest post while sitting on a stone slab next to the amazing ruins of a Nunnery…birds chirping and the sun out in full (The Nunnery sort of reminds me of when Claire goes to Beauly Priory in Outlander [I’ve been there too!]…but I digress).
When I stepped off the bus in Edinburgh all those years ago, I knew deep down in my bones that I’d found a missing piece of myself. I still can’t really put my finger on it, but there is something in the air and land here that makes me feel at home and at peace.
I didn’t find 18th Century Scotland when I arrived, of course, but I did find a new time and pace and way to live. I definitely stepped through some metaphorical standing stones.
It took planning and in the meantime, a lot of cooking, 2 Iona pilgrimages, debt reduction, reiki training and an herbal apprenticeship (I swear, the herbal medicine is a total coincidence…I don’t have any intentions of setting broken fingers by fire-light or performing emergency surgery on the dining table).
It also took a lot of courage and faith. Claire risked it all for love…and in my own way I’ve done the same….wherever that love will take me.
And don’t forget to leave her a little comment below…we’d love to know: How Outlander has changed your life?