Drawing for the Day and The Education of Little Tree (I Kin Ye)
Granpa said if there was less words, there wouldn’t be as much trouble in the world. He said privately to me that there was always some damn fool making up a word that served no purpose except to cause trouble. Which is reasonable. Granpa favoured the sound, or how you said a word, as to its meaning. He said folks that spoke different words could feel the same thing by listening to the sound of music. Granma agreed with him, because that’s the way they talked to each other.
Granma’s name was Bonnie Bee. I knew that when I heard him late at night say, “I kin ye, Bonnie Bee,” he was saying, “I love ye,” for the feeling was in the words.
And when they would be talking and Granma would say, “Do ye kin me, Wales?” and he would answer, “I kin ye,” it meant, “I understand ye.” To them, love and understanding was the same thing. Granma said you couldn’t love something you didn’t understand; nor could you love people, nor God, if you didn’t understand the people and God.
Granpa and Granma had an understanding, and so they had a love. Granma said the understanding run deeper as the years went by, and she reckined it would get beyond anything mortal folks could think upon or explain. And so they called it “kin”.
Granpa said back before his time “kinfolks” meant any folks that you understood and had an understanding with, so it meant “loved folks”. But people got selfish, and brought it down to mean just blood relatives; but that actually it was never meant to mean that.