I have wanted to start a blog for a few weeks now and haven't been sure where to start. Just haven't thought of a good starting place, a place that I felt comfortable sharing my 'kin self with others, until now...
Recently, I began to develop more of an understanding for the history and culture of one of the few parts of my genetic/ethnic background I actually know anything about, that place being Scotland. By blood, I am descended from a lowlands clan of the surname Benfield. By law and by all the family I have known since infancy, I am descended from the highland Stewart clan of the surname Cruickshank. The family history has been something I have clung to since childhood.
After I awakened, I began to get flashes of memory from my past dragonic life, flashes of a life lived in a rugged land flanked on all sides by the sea. Flashes of people speaking a tongue that reminds me of my dragonic self. Slowly the pieces came together, over the course of a year. In my dragonic life, I lived on the British Isles, both Scotland and Ireland.
Cut to this last week. I've wanted to study Scottish history for a long time and finally said now was the time. I researched and bought three books, and two days ago cracked open the first. I found myself within the first chapter transported repeatedly back into memories that haven't seen the light of day, even in the 10 years since I've awakened. Memories filling in gaps that previously I had filled with theories and suppositions. The history unfolded on paper and in my mind, and the book placed dates that my mind could only guess at.
The book spoke of archaeologists unearthing signs of Hunter gatherer groups of people living there since the end of the last great ice age, and this was the first shock of personal memories being dragged out of my long-asleep mind. I saw a flash of the land as it was then, viewed on the wing, swooping low over the water, viewing a world just waking up from a long slumber beneath ice. It felt fitting that this was the first memory to come, as I too feel I am waking from a deep slumber. As I read, a rapid-fire flash of memories, faces, voices, colors, trees, water, food, hunting, mountaintops, lochs, people... All a sort of jumbled mess of brief impressions flashed through my mind and left me reeling. Still I read on, desperate to see what else would surface.
The book told of the rise of farming, the settling of humans into communities with buildings and domesticated animals. It spoke of the felling of ancient forests, gone and forgotten in the modern Scotland. It told of the rise of a primitive form of the famous Scotland Clans, as people bound themselves to one another in loyal family groups. Again I experienced this rapid-fire onslaught of memories, but this time it was more distant... I didn't feel the soul-wrenching feeling of closeness to these people. If anything I felt sad, knowing they were giving up many things for this new way of life. I believe I disapproved.
I read on, the book unfolding the history of Rome's attempts to conquer the British Isles. How they took the lowlands, but were unable to hold the great Glen or the highland hills and mountains. How they built Hadrian's Wall to keep the "barbarian" Pictish tribes, the Painted Ones, from attacking what land they held. I again felt memories stir but these were also distant. I had kept apart from these squabbles of men.
I have read on since then, to the time of the Anglo-Saxon conquest of the land, their eventual settling of a portion of the land after mostly being repelled by the Picts, and now have begun reading of the Viking sacks, raids and takeovers of various portions of the land. I feel yet more and more disconnected now. Memories come as if from a dream, but they do come.
Previously, I believed I lived in the Isles from about the time of Christ until around the time Christianity had begun to take hold there. I believed I lived there a few centuries, and then died at sea in an attempt to save a woman washed overboard from a ship by a storm. But now, I am left to contemplate if I didn't live there much earlier, and several centuries longer.
I want to ponder over this more, perhaps reread what I have already read as well.
I am open to thoughts and impressions on what I have written, and questions for more details as well.