I haven’t written for a while, and I have no excuse. Life happens. Since I don’t have anything prepared for this post, I’ll probably ramble…or, as I call it: freestyle.
The weather report for the next few days contains more cold and snow, but it’s March, so there is that. At this point, any nasty weather only sticks around for a couple of days. We even had sunshine a couple of days. I know it’s a sort of joke, but sitting in a restaurant a couple of days ago, the sun streaming in the window was reflecting off a laminated menu, and I heard a lady actually ask, “Where’s that bright light coming from?” I’m pretty sure she was serious!
This has also been one of the windiest winters that I can remember. The wind is something you can’t see, but it can wear you down mentally and emotionally…the roar of it surrounding your home as it tries to get in through windows and doors; the sound of twigs falling from trees all around, the quick gusts that try to slam every door you open and rip your coat, your scarf or hat from your body. The wind wears you down because you are always walking against it or being blown forward by it. And now it’s nearly March, traditionally the windiest month of the year. Oh, joy.
One of the things I have been doing this winter is reading a lot of history to help me understand what my ancestors were going through in the early days of our country. I’m currently going back and forth between two books, one about a major earthquake and one about the land speculators who were more or less responsible for the states of Ohio, Kentucky, and Illinois.
I will not talk politics here. I don’t discuss politics with anyone because it is one of the least productive and most troublesome subjects that can ever come up between two or more people. I can’t convince anyone to think as I do and while I am always willing to listen to reason and “adjust” my opinions, I won’t do that based on one heated conversation, so what’s the point?
But I do have to say that my generation or the one before us or the one before that did not invent greed, deceit, prejudice or shifty, cunning trickery. I’m not saying any earlier politicians or other bad actors were worse than those I see operating now, but they were certainly as diligent and dedicated to the pursuit of profit and power as anyone you can name in the news today.
I’ve been very interested in the “why” of my ancestors moving westward. Not only that, but I’m interested in why they stopped where they did…and stayed. Once they arrived in Indiana in 1809 or so, for the most part, they never left. Of course, over the next couple of hundred years, some branched out into other directions. I have distant relatives to the south and west and even, probably, back east and north, but in the main, those who moved here stayed here.
That question is how I came to be reading a book called Forced Founders, subtitled Indians Debtors, Slaves & the Making of the American Revolution in Virginia by Woody Holton.
I’ll probably go into more detail later, but primarily, what we think of as the great American fight for our freedom, was as much about land ownership and profits as it was about the higher ideals of liberty and justice for all.
I’m not saying this is bad. One of the arguments of the Declaration of Independence was that we moved here and at great cost increased the value of this land…but that Great Britain was profiting more from that sacrifice than the people of America were.
All this research led me to search out and read the actual Declaration of Independence (it’s on the internet) with particular attention to why those early citizens of this new country thought they should separate from Great Britain and why they felt so strongly that they were prepared to die to accomplish it. I have to say, the list of grievances made against the overbearing King of Great Britain are striking in their relevance to current events.
I encourage you to look it up. It’s a fascinating read and that’s all I have to say about that!