The Harvest of our Homeland
TIREE’S week-long event titled A’ Bhuain or The Homecoming (May 23-27) inspired the following lyrics. The idea of the event, the first of which took place 10 years ago, was to bring people of Tirisdeach descent from across the world together on Tiree to join in celebrating the island’s history and culture.
Over-arching the entire week was a feeling of positivity for the island, respect for the hardships of our past and a powerful hope for the future.
The existence of the Gael is in a tenuous state, and Mabel MacArthur’s play based on the findings of the Napier Commission (1883-1886) was a stark reminder that this is no accident. The period of the Highland Clearances, while complex, was a cruel chapter in our history and it was preceded and followed by a sustained attack on the Gael that has lasted well into living memory.
The wrongs of the past should not be forgotten but neither should they be cause of bitterness or aggression. The following is a comment on the fact that regardless of how weakened the language and culture is, the tide of depletion could be turned with conscious, consistent and collective effort in addition to the sterling work already being done.
The Bhuain in a small way gave me renewed hope that the Gael could thrive again and that the harvest of our homeland could return.