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Take in the mountain views of Glen Affric in Autumn, Cannich (Credit: Visit Inverness Loch Ness)

Dreaming of the Clan Lands

By Ruth Adams

"'Haste ye back' rang in my ears, my eyes longed for the views, my heart longed for the peace.... sometimes destiny comes full circle."

Long ago when I was a girl I heard stories of our family’s heritage, where we had come from and tales of numerous generations. I was always struck by one particular tale of my Great Grandfather being brought down from Scotland as a baby, to be looked after by relatives after his mother had died in childbirth. I never met my Great Grandfather but his surname gave me a burning pride to hear it spoken aloud. It wasn’t my surname nor that of my mother but my Grandmother had it as a child. I wanted to know more and where it originated from.

On my first of many trips to the Highlands I did what other countless visitors have done, buying modern day mementos of the old Clan, a scarf with the old tartan and a whiskey glass engraved with the family crest and motto but it wasn’t enough. On another visit I walked around Loch Affric and cried at the beauty of the old Clan lands, no longer owned by anyone bearing my Great Grandfather’s name. It was lost generations ago with my distant relatives cast to all the corners of the world when the clearances drove them from their land. My visits to the Highlands became so frequent that eventually the love for the place outweighed the love of my old roots. 'Haste ye back' rang in my ears, my eyes longed for the views, my heart longed for the peace. I wasn’t born here but sometimes destiny comes full circle. This member of Clan Chisholm came home nine years ago.

Image provided by Ruth Adams

Looking out on to the past, gone but not forgotten, and dreaming of the clan lands.

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