Guest Post: Can You “Feel” Your Roots?

Can you “feel” your roots? In ‘Til Death Do Us Part, the final book in THE VOWS trilogy, Liam and Emma O’Reilly visit Ireland, a country that has always had my heart.  As they are preparing to land, Liam speaks of the first time he visited the country of his parents. He says that he felt a primal calling of the land of his ancestors. Is this something you’ve experienced?

In my case, the name “Heidi” is quintessentially German. I grew up in a German family. Both my paternal and maternal grandfathers have distinct German surnames. Our customs and cuisine were German. The only family history that anyone knew was “we came from Germany.” As fascinated as I have always been with cultures, I remember not feeling a connection to German things. Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing at all wrong with Germany. It is a beautiful culture, but I felt no personal connection.

On the other hand, I can’t remember a time when I haven’t been infatuated with all things Celtic. The landscape, the languages, the folk tales, and the music speak to me in a way that few things do. I hear Celtic music, and I feel it in my soul. Although I couldn’t explain it, it was there. I always wondered why, but simply passed it off.

For my birthday a few years ago, my best friend gave me a DNA kit. I had been researching my family tree for a while, and had been finding a lot of what I had always been told of my German ancestors. I had found ancestors from other places too, but overall there were no surprises. I excitedly opened the DNA kit, filled the tube with my saliva, put it in the mailbox, and anxiously counted down the weeks for the results. I expected that seeing my test results and understanding that my DNA was German would be a fact I couldn’t deny.

The day the results arrived, I was quite surprised. While I did indeed have some German DNA, it was quite a small section of my overall reading. The majority of my results were from England, but a large portion was from Scotland, and Ireland. Finally, the Celtic connection made sense!

In researching my family tree, I have found a sense of pride in all of my ancestors. I gained a complete understanding of the genes that make up the whole “me.” It explained a lot. I realized that my love of Celtic cultures was certainly not random. I felt connected because I am connected. My heart and soul understood something long before I had any proof.

So what do you think? Can we “feel” our roots? Does the blood of our ancestors call to us if we will listen? I know in my case, that’s exactly what happened.

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