The little opening
February 24, 2010
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I found the most amazing photographer the other night and was combing through her blog and taking it all in when I read this:
“We know so little of our connection, anyway, as people marry and move on and you don’t never hear from them again. It’s like in all our blood ties of cousins and aunts and uncles and ancestors and descendants we don’t see but those near us. Why children, your children will have children I will never know, and their children’s children will never have heard of me. No use to deny it. Looking backwards I don’t know more than my Grandmammy and Granddaddy on either side, and all the rest is just a name here, a fact there, a rumor. All the people stretching back two or three generations to Pennsylvania and Wales, and back to Adam, are just lost in the fog and dust. We are isolated in the little clearing of now and all the rest is tangled woods and thickets nobody much remembers. I always said it’s how you enjoy that little opening in the wilderness that counts. That’s all you have a chance to do. That’s why I’m telling you this story.”
-Robert Morgan, The Hinterlands
It made me think of the stories that my dad told me about his Grandmother (my Great-Grandmother), Sophia. She got married when she was 12 and legend has it that she spent the wedding reception in the corner of the room playing with her dolls. Her husband, (my Great-Grandfather) became the village priest and they went on to have twelve children. After one of Sophia’s sons died of pneumonia and left a wife and six young boys, she was regularly on the scene. My dad, one of the six boys, recalls Sophia chasing he and his brothers through the tall grass and rocky island terrain. They would play and frolic for hours, giving my Grandmother a much-needed reprieve from single parenthood. My dad would speak of Sophia with a twinkle in his eye and although she was gone long before I was born, I can picture her petite frame running with endless energy through the same fields that I played with my cousins.
I hope that he has been able to see her again.