(Drawing of Forest of Dean by Jan Richings, England)
I am becoming aware of a forgotten side of my family, at least for those of us who migrated to the United States from England. The forest of Dean is an area which encompasses portions of both England and Wales. Around it one can find a wide variety of towns and villages, some of which my family came from or now live in.
It is a region of natural beauty but also the region of people who have lived there for generations. When I visited not long ago I felt an almost immediate connection, not only to the forest itself but the towns and people. It felt as if I had returned home, and in a way I had.
Home, after all, is not just a place or people but also a new way of looking at things. And I see myself now in a different light, connected to a tradition I didn’t realize I had.