Unexpected Links to My Ancestors
By Gyll Curtis-Machin
...my writing feels more real now... I feel connected to those others, my kin, whose experience is universal.
To help with the grief that I felt on my father's death, I joined a WEA writing class and scribbled these thoughts on 'Being Highland', although I wasn't born here.
Image provided by Gyll Curtis-Machin
'Being Highland is to have travelled beyond these shores; moved away to study, to work, to raise a family but to always have the mountains, rivers, lochs, forests, song of the birds, and the splash of the trout and the blessed pure, clean air coursing through our veins.'
Being Highland, Gyll Curtis-Machin
It was only after getting enmeshed in the pleasurable detective story that is family history that I realised that my ancestors really were Highlanders dating all the way back to the 16th century in Beauly and Glen Affric but they, like me, had a shared experience of travelling far and leaving their home for a time.
During the pandemic, listening to the stories of Syrian and Afghan refugees, and reflecting on what it might feel like to be uprooted, displaced, by war or economic necessity, my writing feels more real now. Not just a silly wee scribble. I feel connected to those others, my kin, whose experience is universal.
We Want to Hear From You!
Share your family stories of the history of the Highlands and Islands
Stories are at the heart of what we do as a project and we are always looking to learn more about what the Highlands and Islands means to people who live, work, and visit here. The Highlands and Islands have a fascinating and remarkable history. We would love to know, do you have a favourite story from your family history or a family figure that you feel represents the 'Spirit of the Highlands and Islands'? Tell us below, we can't wait to hear from you!
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