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Dùthchas

“Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls." Jeremiah 6.16


The Laird of Muck is a charming tribute to Lawrence MacEwen, offering an evocative glimpse of a lifetime devoted to his inheritance as owner of the picturesque Hebridean island of Muck. The initial impression is idyllic, yet anyone acquainted with the climate and terrain of the west coast of Scotland will realise that the reality is a life of hard graft and marginal returns. That Lawrence prevailed and has been able to transfer his precious inheritance to the next generation is testimony to his resilience.


Indeed much was made of the generational links, which stand in stark contrast to the piecemeal way in which most families operate in western societies today, where both past and future are foreign countries. We live for the day! What I missed, however, was any acknowledgment that Muck has a heritage which extends beyond the MacEwen dynasty. With its neighbours - Rhum, Eigg and Canna - it belongs in the Gaelic archipelago where, over hundreds of years, indigenous Gaels and Norse invaders intermarried to produce an even more evocative and idiosyncratic way of life.


Christians contend that our ultimate identity is hidden with God in Christ and that our heritage - as sons and daughters of Abraham - is spiritual. Cherishing our earthly heritage - roots, culture, language - offers a rite of passage into a deeper appreciation of who we really are and the significance of God's love for us and the inheritance he is preparing for those who will receive it.

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