When we look back at our ancestors, we can often find surprising, hidden strengths and things that connect us to our history.
I often felt like an alien growing up in my family, I found it difficult to connect with the ideas and culture of my family of origin. We grew up in one house, we travelled very little, and everyone I knew was working class.
Ever since I was little, I was desperate to see the world, to travel. I was quite an outspoken, independent child. I couldn’t find anyone in my family similar to me.
About 15 years ago, as part of my study, I was asked to think about my family three generations ago. I knew they were English. On my father’s side my great aunt had owned and run one of the biggest travelling fairgrounds in northern England in the early 1900’s.
When I thought about their life, I was shocked. Wow! A woman, owning and running anything would have been a big deal back then. There is my independence, and they travelled all the time. There is my constant yearning to travel! ‘Meeting’ them was such a relief, I felt much more connected to my family.
Some years later I repeated the exercise thinking about my relatives long, long ago. Before the Christian influence. Who were they, where did they live? They were English. They would probably have been Pagans (people who worshipped nature, who found God in nature), who watched the turn on the seasons and were deeply connected to nature.
That’s me. I love to walk, to do overnight hikes in nature. It re-connects me to something deep in myself and something universal. This is my tribe. I now know I reconnect with my ancestors when I do this.
Who were your ancestors? What were their strengths?