Face in the crowd

Where we come from is not necessarily where we were born,  it's where we're drawn to by the echoes of ancestral voices.

The reasons why both sides of my family left Scotland are the reasons why I am compelled to return.
It's knife edge weather; its towering bleakness and the sad, soft song of its history are too much for many to live with, but I find myself drawn back again and again to its fierce, uncompromising, otherworldly presence.
Standing in the silence of the glens is like being shipwrecked on the moon.

They breed them tough up here, and the urge to cross the horizon is strong.
My mother, who escaped the grindstone of Glasgow; an uncle who formed a pipe band in Copenhagen and a grandfather who returned to Scotland in his sixties to start a new career were all characters in the legends I grew up with.
Their lives are like the ringing pulse of a silenced bell still echoing in my ears.
Being in their landscape keeps faith with their memory and honours their gift.

The shoreline of a Western Isle is home now to the evidence of my returning.
Lost among numberless rocks, alone and unseen it smiles at the sky.
In time the wind and the waves will wear it away to dust, and that dust will become part of the land that calls me home.