What makes us what we are?

The other Scottish Goans

The other Scottish Goans

We have been very busy over the last few weeks- doing a lot of traveling. It has been really good to catch up with family.

Michaela’s mum and step dad are staying with us this week.

A couple of weeks ago we were in the midlands of England, spending time with my mother, and my sister Katherine and her family. Katherine lives in a house that is always full of young people. She has four of her own- Josh the medical student, Elizabeth the ballet dancer, Ben the musician, and Nathaniel the youngest and apple of the eye. I don’t see enough of them all- but despite the distance, I love them dearly.

Then last week, we stayed for a night with my brother Steve, his wife Kate and little Jamie. There is a bigger story here, as we have only recently met.

My father and mother divorced when I was small, and I never knew him. We made contact again 2 years ago (my dad now lives in Northern Ireland,) and I was amazed to discover that I had a half brother who lives in Scotland, only a short drive from us.

You can imagine that the process of getting to know another branch of family that were strangers to us until recently has been wonderful, but deeply challenging.

Conversations with my father- and finding understanding of a sort.

Trying to explain to my mother the reasons why I would want such contact.

Taking my sister with me on the journey.

Last week, Steve and I had another of those ‘what if?’ discussions- wondering how our shared genetics interacted with out very different upbringings, and turned us into the people that we have become.

And I wonder. What might I have been with a different compost to grow in? Would the sensitivity that dogs me (and also inspires me) be mediated? Would I be more like me on my best days, or more like me on my worst?

These are impossible questions to resolve. All that we can do is note some of the ingredients, but the rest of it just IS.

And in this- like in all things- all will be well.

All manner of things shall be well…