The snow is melting. But never mind, the sun shone. What a joy to go out on a bright day, even if we went slowly because the trails were so slippery. I could see far in the clear air. The hills rolled away, green and brown dusted with remnants of snow, creating the impression of some broad remote land at the end of a harsh winter. As ever the chalk hills felt different, quite unlike the pastoral image of traditional England.
Difference is a theme of mine. I don't seem to be able to conform to any common stereotype. Why this should be I really do not know. But there is a delicate balance between not ploughing the common furrow and not drawing attention to the fact. That much I do know.
There are many roads to follow, some broad and easy, others by degrees narrower and harder. There are people carried by the crowd along a wide way, unthinking. More discerning travellers choose paths that are interesting or challenging.
And then sometimes, just sometimes, the road chooses a traveller.
The road has chosen me - several times.
It was as if by fate that I ended up in Transylvania fourteen years ago. Now that wasn't a logical place of exile, but the journey opened my eyes and provided some valuable, even life-changing lessons.
In a sense the road brought me back here, opening the door to a rewarding job that became available as if by chance. But logic was present, leading me to apply for that job and select a home in these hills. The road was benign, indeed, but truth be told it didn't lead me here against all expectations.
But the road chose me first back in 1964 when I was adopted. This has weighed on my mind for years. Now I understand more - a lot more. After lengthy research I obtained the original adoption papers and discovered that the woman who gave birth to me lived in a town fifty miles away. It took one brief conversation to realise that I have nothing in common with her, nothing to say, and no desire for any further contact. She showed herself to be a sad, bitter and selfish old woman who resented the lot she believed life had dealt her.
In truth I'm not surprised. Of course I had hoped for better. But I should have spotted the signs. There was a note from 1964 saying, in effect, that she had the means to bring up a child but chose not to. The social services quickly placed me in foster care. By then my existence had brought to an end the affair she was having with a married man twice her age, who had already left his wife for her. I should have realised that such a woman was unlikely to be victim or heroine. I pity her. But I owe her nothing. And she has nothing positive to give me.
For the most part I've got over this. Life is full of hurts and mistakes, problems and failures. Damaged and broken people circulate. Buy beyond there lie understanding, healing and growth. The journey thus far has taught me that I'm not defined by the deeds of two selfish people almost half a century ago. Inherited genetics define physical appearance but that is all. As for what I think and enjoy, those are mine. The contents of the unconscious are cultural, built up from birth and influenced by the people with whom I spent the most time, the things that I saw and read as well. Of course the unconscious has posed its share of problems, but I don't think that many of those stem from the woman who gave birth to me. She wasn't a part of my life for long enough. And my journey has granted a little wisdom too concerning the unconscious, puzzling and peculiar as that shadow world behind the veil of consciousness truly is.
Beyond the snow, over the hill and after the storm has passed there will be light and warmth, new growth and fresh vistas. And there is learning to be done, and exploration too. I am looking forward to that.