Wednesday, May 13, 2009

I was born and raised in the highlands of East Tennessee on the border with North Carolina, but I am a Scot just the same. My bloodlines go through Clan Donald on both sides of my family. Author and historian David R. Ross often discusses that there are remnants of the Scottish clan system still in place. I can attest to that because we are NOT a clan society in Clan Donald, but are truly still a clan (a family). We have tried with all our might to maintain our oral histories and traditions within Clan Donald, especially here in the Mid-South. I am a piper and have the opportunity to play (and teach) quite often. In fact, most every day I stand outside the church and pipe for my beloved Scotland even though I know she can’t hear me.

I am indeed 6 generations American, but I was a thousand a Scot before that.

I am a Scot, as were each of the thousands of generations of Sharps (MacIlherons) who came before me, and as will be the generations coming after me, starting with Emori.

Now, I am a proud American as well, and I won't speak to that today.  But I will say that I am very patriotic, ALWAYS stand at attention with my hand over my heart when the Star Spangled Banner is played, and sing it with all my heart.  I get a tear in my eye when I see a color guard fly Old Glory, and think of the men and women who sacrifice every day for my selfish freedom.  But I am also a Scot.

I have never been to Heaven, but I am a citizen of Heaven.  No one questions that.

I bring all this up because this weekend the Scottish Games season kicks off with the Gatlinburg Scottish Festival and Games.  It is a short opportunity for me to go be with my people and be myself without fear of being made fun of for who I am.  In fact, those without kilts on will be the outcasts.  The liberating freedom that comes with these games is incredible.  As chaplain of Clan Donald's MidSouth region, it also allows me to minister to people there as well.

2009 is also the year for Homecoming Scotland.  According to the official website iis "an events programme celebrating Scotland's great contributions to the world. In 2009 join us to celebrate the 250th anniversary of Robert Burns’birth, Scottish contributions to golf & whisky, plus our great minds and innovations and rich culture and heritage."

I could do without the whisky part altogether though.

Here are a few short videos that express how I feel about Scotland:

Flower of Scotland, the REAL Anthem for All Scots:

David Ross, Author and Historian on our kilt:

The Edinburgh Military Tatoo...Watch especially starting at 1:30.  If a tear doesn't come to your eye, well, then you're not a Scot and you'll never get it:

Here is the offical TV Ad for Homecoming Scotland:

And finally, an ancient form of music from dear Alba called "mouth music".  It is sung in the mother tongue of Scots Gaelic:

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