Flowers of the Forest

The only musical instrument ever outlawed as a weapon of war.

This April evening sent the skirl of bagpipes bouncing through the canyons of Manhattan. Here in the States, pipes are played for parades, weddings and funerals but for me, the prelude of the drone sends me back to our Highland castle ruin. In those complex days of heartbreak and renaissance, my greatest savior was the evening ritual of the pipes.

Alone on a desolate moor, dressed in full clan regalia, the soloist plays from his heart, driven by the sheer power of the harmony and his love of the ancient earth. All civilization pauses, spellbound and silent in reverence. Legend tells of brave pipers that inspired soldiers to battle and instilled dread of certain death in their enemies.

I feel for a foreigner’s terror–the pipes stir my soul to the core–pulling me back to the days of the blood forest, our biggest gambles and greatest accomplishments.

My family home, my roots, our healing sanctuary.

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