Reading London novel helped me discover truth
People often ask about my last name. Why did I change it? Why London? Was it in honour of the city?
When I arrived in the west 20 years ago I realised that my name, Telpukhovskaia, was quite difficult to pronounce and completely impossible to remember for non-Russians.
I began to think seriously about changing it but for many years I could not find one that I would love to hear and would suit me and my character.
Four years ago, my new name came to me quite naturally. I was on a visit to London and Bill added me in his phone book as Nina London.
Then he began to jokingly call me by this name. When I heard it for the first time, I felt something deep inside me.
I thought, “This is my name. Well, it’s about time we met.”
It was not the association with the city that caused me such a strong emotion. Jack London is one of my favourite writers.
He led a life of adventure and created heroes that never gave up, fought to the last and found their true calling no matter what the risks. He taught me that sometimes you go on this long journey without fellow travellers, accompanied only by hope.
Yesterday, I reread the words from his classic novel, The Call of the Wild. I remember that when I first came across it so many years ago, it helped me discover the truth about my own heart.
The story is about a spoilt and well-fed dog named Buck, who lives in privileged conditions on a ranch in California.
He is stolen and sent to work as a sled dog in Alaska during the Klondike Gold Rush. This magnificent dog fought for his life in the brutal extremes of the Arctic.
He survived challenges that tempered his character and hardened his body. He fought for his life and become a strong leader of other dogs.
One day, Buck began to hear the call of his ancestors, who did not give him rest until he followed their voice into the wilderness.
“It caused him to feel a vague, sweet gladness, and he was aware of wild yearnings and stirrings,” London wrote.
“Sometimes he pursued the call in the forest, looking for it, but it was a tangible thing, barking softly or defiantly, as the mood might dictate. He would thrust his nose into the cool wood moss, or into the black soil, where long grasses grew, and snort with joy at the earth smells; or he would crouch for hours, as if in concealment, behind fungus-covered trunks of fallen trees, wide-eyed and wide-eared to all.
“It might be, lying thus, that he hoped to surprise. But he did not know these things. He was impelled to do them, and did not reason about them at all.“
This call was more beautiful than anything that had ever happened to Buck. And he pursued it, not knowing what awaited him, or whether he would survive. At the end, he leaves the world of men and disappears into the endless forests of the Yukon and becomes the leader of a wolf pack.
This story became an unforgettable lesson for me about the call of our soul, which we must not forget.
Can you listen and hear its call?
Will you be able to find a new path?
Yes, you can!
You are much stronger than you think.
• Nina London is a certified wellness and weight-management coach. Her mission is to support and inspire mature women to make positive changes in their body and mind. Share your inspirational stories with her here: www.ninalondon.com
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