Friday, November 14, 2014
Connected to the Past
Over the last few months, Reece and I have been slowly making our way through the Little House series, following the Ingalls family through the trials of moving west into unknown territory. Each night we read a few chapters as we snuggle in Reece's bed. As I read the struggles the Ingalls, and the other families, faced I am connected to the past in a strange sort of way. Most of you know that we live in an old schoolhouse, circa 1878. At the time it was schoolhouse number 20, also known as New Park School. As I read about Mary, Laura and Carrie attending school in the little schoolhouse my mind is transported back to the days of our old schoolhouse. The long walk made daily by children attending school, the wagons that must have passed by in front each day, the farming that was done on the land that surrounds us. It all happened here, and we are connected to it through our home.
We have had the honour of meeting the man, who as a boy had the responsibility of keeping the fire going during the school day, and we have met the man who used to ring the bell each day. We have family names written down showing the land they used to live on and farm. We have photos of a teacher and her students taken in front of the schoolhouse (our home!) in 1930. We have visitors drop in to say hi, and check in on the old schoolhouse. At first it was elderly men and women who attended school here, now it is grandchildren and great grandchildren of those people. Reading the Little House series has given me a deeper connection to the past, a past that I never asked to be connected to, but I am.
They say when you start a family, and find your home, that you put down roots. The roots were here already, they ran deep and were, and still are, solid and strong. We didn't need to put roots down. Instead we have entwined our roots among theirs, connecting to the past in a way we never dreamed of.