A Highland Fling


Clan MacDonald Ranald


Cold winter nights are made for binge watching and Netflix provides plenty of options. While my blood runs red, white and blue American, to the point I get teary at patriotic songs, there is something ancient also coursing through my veins and it stirs at the sound of bagpipes.  My heritage has origins in Scotland and the romance of tartan and lochs is hard for this girl to resist.

I have always loved BBC productions from comedy’s like Keeping up Appearances to dramas like Downton Abbey and Foyle’s  War.  So you can understand how I got sucked down the rabbit hole with a series called Monarch of the Glen, with my own clan’s laird and family as the fictional characters.  It has drama as well as comedy and the Scottish lochs and hills are breathtaking.

America is full of folk with something ancient from across the sea beating in their hearts.  After all unless your ancestors were here prior to the European takeover of the sixteenth and seventeenth of the new world, you came from off.  For over two-hundred years my more recent ancestors along with some who arrived after our countries one-hundredth  birthday forged an allegiance to the stars and bars, many generations demonstrating it on the battlefields from the revolution to the Vietnam war. Yet if I go three-hundred years back I find our family firmly entrenched in the British Isles and I like to think I can honor that as well. Although admittedly, my Scottish ancestors were probably enemies of my English ancestors if you read the history or watch Braveheart.

If you look at the motto inscribed on my pin pictured above you will find the words, “My Hope is Constant with Thee”  and I think I have lived that motto all my life, well before I knew of it or the clan it comes from and I spring from. There is no scientific proof that we carry the legacy of our ancestors or their character traits in our DNA, but when I look at the characteristics of my ancestors known through letters and diary entries as well as the ones I have been blessed to know in person and compare them to mine I have no doubt I have inherited more from them than eye color. Perseverance, optimism and  stubbornness just to name a few.

So I have no guilt over my Netflix binge, just like a good book the BBC delivers characters you can connect with. I have enjoyed my escape to the old country and the theme of honor your heritage and its traditions that runs through each episode. The siren call of the loch has uncovered the tartan that is woven into my soul.

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