February 1, 2020

“Just a Crofter?” In every life is a wealth of stories waiting to be told – what’s yours?

Shona McMillan

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Poem on soundcloud. Summary Photos & Poem in a pdf."Just a Crofter?" In every life is a wealth of stories waiting to be told - what's yours?, 2020

On my mum’s 80th birthday, marvelling at a story she’d told, I commented on the fantastic life she’d lived. Quick was her answer “everyone has a story to tell”. Mum from the fishing, dad from farming, mum’s words set me on a journey. Scotland’s NC500 is famous for its scenery. Yet, so much more can be gained from taking time to stop and talk with those along the way. In a lifetime relationship with the highlands, I have enjoyed community life there. But also, how much I’ve seen the pace of change increase. Photos and stories gathered shape my poem, a reflection of a Crofter’s Life. Yet, no person is just the sum account of labels put on them. Others, with knowledge of the People of the Shores will relate to my poem. But, in producing this work, I hope it makes everyone think about the value of time, Community, Culture and Tradition. Whether from a city, a rural community or equally (perhaps, from a geographically dispersed group such as musicians and artists) everyone can benefit from hearing the stories of others. Here, I would hope to encourage others to appreciate, seek out and share stories before they are lost.