Archive for September, 2012

     I was …

     I was born in the Ukraine, which in those days was a part of Russia, in the city of Kleve.    I grew up amongst hard working people during the times when the Communist Party ruled. I remember people’s faces, grave and gray, like the earth itself; weary of their mundane existence, born to carry on the painful traditions of their ancestors.  No one was allowed to forget the suffering and tragedies of the land, reminded of it constantly through the media and literature.  The songs were composed to glorify the Party and the poems were written for the children to memorize. It wasn’t only the lack of freedom that was oppressing; it was the karma of the nation that was monumentally heavy.    The suffering of our forefathers, revolution, World War II, the struggles of the Nation and its heroic survival was imbedded into the souls of each citizen.

     I loved it, as it was the only place I knew. The dense forest and vast fields became my dear friends and the melancholic nostalgic music made my heart soar with joy.  I lived a simple life, with my parents, just like many other children around me.  I went to school and strove to get good grades.  I tried to fit in, yet I always felt as though I was separated from the rest of the world by an invisible wall.  I grew accustomed to spending long hours alone, daydreaming.  I remember my grandmother being angry at me when I sat, staring into space.  She couldn’t understand how one could “do nothing”.   I never attempted to explain, realizing that it was futile. 

    I developed a passion for writing at an early age, which helped me navigate through the difficult patches of my life and in turn opened a whole new world, filled with beautiful dreams that were hiding within the crevasses of my mind.   

    I moved away from the Ukraine when I was eighteen years old; I followed my parents to this country.  I remember driving away, from the home I had, the streets disappearing in to the distance and my one friend, Natasha standing, waving her farewell.  In my heart I knew I wasn’t coming back, not for a very long time.  The forest that was near my home disappeared and the streets changed; it all seems surreal, yet it was happening to me.   I felt like a tree, ripped out of the ground.   I couldn’t help but wonder -what was going to happen to me?

    My new home was nothing like the one I left.  The life I knew back in Russia ceased to exist the moment the bus left the familiar streets of my neighborhood.   My new experiences, wrapped in the haze of the unknown, were zooming before me like a passing train. The diverse population helped me to merge in, and for a short while I felt less of an outsider.  I got married and my children were born, bringing with them a whole new baggage of problems and concerns.  I moved through my life as if it was a forest and for a while there was only a faint stream of light peeping though the thick branches.

    With time I found my way into the clearing.  I discovered the place and people that brought joy and purpose into my life.  The dense woods are now behind me and there is a green meadow and a peaceful lake, with the sun swirling on the surface of the emerald waters.  There are graceful swans swimming alongside the banks and the geese wobbling around.  There are people strolling by and children’s laughter echoing through the vast space.  The loud cries of geese and the enthusiastic barking of dogs break the stillness.  I can join the people and I can go back into the forest, if I choose to.  I am at peace and I know that I am not alone.  I have found people like myself and I am moving forward, creating new chapters and visions. 

     In my humble journey I’ve learned that being different was my destiny and that all of my experiences, good and not so good,  have brought me to this point of my life and shaped me into the person I am now.  It is with this thought that I would like to encourage you to dare to be different, to always see the light that is hiding underneath the clouds, to create positive visions and to believe in yourself and your greatness!

I send you love and light!


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