During the Scotland pilgrimage of 2018, a dozen of us travelled to Eilean Munde by hiring a boat service that we were using for a group tour later in the day. Some of David Cameron’s relations are buried there and he wanted to honour them on the anniversary of his own birth. He was joined by his wife Nancy Sherwood and her brother David Sherwood in the 7th Century ruins of the old chapel where some gravestones lay. Flowers were offered and moments of silence and prayer were observed.
The rest of the group drummed and walked around the island to the grave of Ian MacDonald,clan chief, who was killed in the Glencoe Massacre of 1692. We all joined at that memorial and David Cameron initiated our ceremony of remembrance, forgiveness and healing the past. Those interred there had understood the world in a different way, then, and the innocent went down with the warriors who wanted to protect their kin, and who fought for their way of life and their land.
During our visit, the story of Corraig was told. She was a wise woman and healer who, by traditional story, warned the MacDonalds of the coming betrayal. Before the pilgrimage every pilgrim was asked to read Witch Light by Susan Fletcher. On the island we asked the people who provided the boat what they thought about the story. One of them had seen a small woman’s bones dug up in the 80’s on the island, and one of them had met Susan Fletcher and knew about her purpose in staying in the area. Since non-aristocratic women’s stories from that era are rarely told, it was significant for the pilgrims to hear about this one making it up through the centuries to our time.
Here is a link http://www.glencoe-heritage-trust.com/ for anyone wanting to know more about their purpose and work and to thank them for taking care of these precious places where the ancestors are held in esteem, not only by their descendants but by the comforting mountains around the loch, as well.