Why in the world do I even bother trying to awaken ‘the old ways’. What is the purpose? What is the point?
My Scottish ancestors left the Lowlands in the 1830’s for Canada. My Welsh ancestors left their homeland ( literally traced back to the same county in Wales to the 1500s) in the 1850’s with the Mormon pioneers. My English ancestors converted as well and left the lands they too had lived on for centuries to come to America’s promised land.
I think there is a deep unsteadiness in our souls, as successful as my ancestors were here in America. They walked across the country, fought with the Native Americans and died in harsh winters in poor handcart companies.
For some reason, there is a call from our blood to rediscover the roots that made them so strong. Gone are our rituals that marked the passage of time and our place in it. Now all we have in clock in and clock out, how much money, how much debt.I recognize that most of them left behind desperate lives. There are documents of ancestors working in harsh wool mills, or as a shoemakers apprentice or even coal mines at extremely young ages and terrible conditions.
I know why the ‘gospel’ of the Mormons appealed to them but it seems a wonder they could come here at all and leave the beautiful places they lived in for centuries. From their records they did seem very happy here though.
A deepness calls to us that is hidden in our veins. It holds the scent of the salt air, and fog and green sea grasses. It sounds like the wind across the welsh plains and rivers, the call of the sea birds and the echos of song.
We’re missing connection and continuity. We are missing a way of life and a deep culture. They assimilated to the American ways, sadly no personal connection for me remains. Perhaps only the families love of hard work, generosity and a good story is the last vestige.