When I was little, around 3 years old, my parents fled the country and crossed the border (illegally, because in those days in 1989, Romania was under the communist regime and people weren’t allowed to leave the country) and made a home for ourselves in Austria. At first, it was only them two and 6 months later, in June 1990, myself and my two siblings had been brought to them by my grandfather. It was after the big revolution we had in the country when the president and his wife had been accused of treason and killed. Romania was now breathing a new air, the air of democracy and people were free to travel outside the country too.
I can’t remember the journey while we were on the train traveling to Austria. All I remember was that all of a sudden, a new world was opening itself in front of me, a world composed of a new landscape, new language, and new people.
We lived in a small town called Schonau (close to Linz city) and our house was surrounded by forest. This is one of the things I love and treasure the most about my life there. How I loved that forest! I can remember even now the fresh smell of it, its natural sounds, how I would walk in it to search for blueberries and how I would play with my siblings in it. As a child, I loved to wander in it and for some reason, even though I was very little, I felt a connection with the forest. It was like a magnet and it was drawing me to it over and over again. I believe that was the moment when my creative soul and mind bloomed as wandering in those forests made me think about – for the first time – that magic really exists. It was all around me. It was in the sounds of the forest, of the river, sounds of the birds, the smell of the earth and grass, in the majestic presence of the trees – I was witnessing it all. The forest intrigued me. It was like a mystery for me and I wanted to return to it again and again, to discover yet a bit more of it, to notice it, to feel it, to love it. I was also returning to the forest because by doing so it offered me some kind of an escape from the real world, it was a gateway toward a world and universe that was only for me, only mine and I could be and do everything I wanted; there was nobody there to tell me what was possible or not.
The forest also gave me the love and inspiration for writing stories and storytelling as while wandering in it, somehow I always felt that I may come across elves or fairies, or that animals may come to me and start talking to me, and that they will show me their kingdom. I liked this idea very much. The forest and its natural environment and mystic presence showed me another side of life; it introduced me to a whole new world and for this, I am forever grateful and it`s – without a doubt- the thing I most dearly recall about my childhood.
Back then, I was only a little girl enjoying the wonders of the nature, enjoying what I was seeing and feeling, but now I know that that meeting with the forest gave me who I am today as it shaped my free mind and spirit, and it ignited within my heart the love for writing, for stories, for the creation of fantastic universes and characters. I`m deeply thankful to God and to my parents for having had the courage to flee to Austria in those tough times. Nothing from what I am would have been possible if it weren’t for them and for the beautiful time and childhood I had there.
Love & light,