I was chatting with a Skye bride and her groom recently about family and what it means and more particularly the Skye definition of a cousin.
Here, cousin doesn’t mean what you might expect – it’s not just the children of your parents’ siblings – it can be much wider than that. 2nd cousins (the children of your parents’ 1st cousins – still with me?) are a huge part of family life and when I was growing up I spent all my summers with our huge extended family of 2nd cousins on our long summer holidays on Skye. Now we’ve grown up (kind of!) and we’re scattered all over the place. When we get together en masse there is often a sad reason for gathering and we meet only briefly. But there is no doubt of the importance that our parent’s generation placed on the connection and of the connection we feel to each other and the friendship we give at the times when it is needed most.
This summer I was lucky enough to visit and work on Tiree for the first time. While I was there one of my “cousins” lent me her family cottage for the week. It was a magical time and I’ll be blogging some of the personal images from that week very soon. But today I want to share just one image. This year I have been working on a series of personal, window lit portraits. The image below is of my “uncle” Willie John – my father’s cousin and the father of my cottage lending cousin. I visited them on my way home from Tiree to Skye. Willie John and I have not met for maybe 40 years – but we shared an immediate sense of ease and he was able to tell some tales about my father as a young man.
Family. As the lovely bride and I agreed – it’s a Skye thing.