h(is)tory

Pirates to farmers, rebels and half breeds (or fractionals).

The wild. The crazy. The brave. The stupid. The lazy.

Shipbuilders and ranchers. Farmers and cowboys.

Huguenots and other refugees from ‘the man’ .

Names changed to hide faith, to change it

from being ‘foreign’ to more ‘English’.

Some stories kept, and held large.

Others more legend, myth. Whispers and old photos.

 

Ancestry.com is a waste of time when your name started here.

When no one kept records of babies born in farm houses.

When mama’s birthed and worked the same day.

Men kept their faith secret. Their color a red/black lie.

Family photos tucked away, hiding secrets or telling tales?

Circus family or royalty – does it matter? Aren’t they the same?

 

Rum runner, pirate. Shipbuilder. Hero of a ship wreck.

Mongol raider DNA mixing in hidden Jewish blood.

A Russian and a Ukrainian – don’t mix them up!

Irish and Scots. A drop of dreaded English. Creole.

Cree. Kootenay. German. Maybe? French. Ugh.

 

Our history is what we survived to get here. And our story.

He asks – wide eyed to know – are our ancestors cool?

Were they brave? Crazy? Wild? Were they ‘steady’ and true?

Big faith, or small? Did they love their children like you love me?

We tell stories of elders and Residential schools.

We learn words. We share a pride in that big bad blend

that makes us unique. Our history has parts

unwritten and long forgotten.

 

And yet in some place our DNA remembers,

it holds those things sacred that were remembered

down past blood and bone. Into the spirit, the soul –

we remember in a glance a storm across the steppes.

Or a frozen winter tree snapping.

The howl of rage against the storm and rocks, a quiet prayer.

 

In faith we carry part of them forward.

Those brave souls who ‘kept on keeping on’

across ocean, mountain, prairie and steppe.

Through war, hatred, and all the beautiful

and ugly of humankind.

Hands that felt rough equine manes in Asia, Europe and North America.

Feet that felt sand and beaches, rocks and salty wave on many shores.

Hearts that beat, bled and died in every land they chose to love.

A heavenly reunion awaits when we get to hear their tales first hand.

Of ships lost, crops grown, horses rode and loves held deep.

Of faith. Of being faithful. Faith-filled too.

Heroes of the ordinary kind.

Those who said they wouldn’t live to kneel to the ground,

but would die standing. The kind who shook their fist at stormy

skies and naysayers equally. And turned to walk away.

To somewhere new. Somewhere brave.

So many left it all behind and chose to go.

Few treasures or heirlooms. Mostly stories.

Faded dreams and vivid passion. Flaring across time.

I see their faces, faded in photos old, and wonder

about them in color. Alive. Living. Vibrant.

Colorizing our black and white history.

We imagine them from the future,

and wonder if they thought of us?

 

History is often kept by those who feel the bearers of it have value to the future. So many of my ancestors came here and had their names changed to remove the connection to homeland or religion.  So many have no listing on Ancestry or any other site. Family histories are hard to piece together, and yet sometimes we find a treasure. An old stitchery lesson, a diary or a photo ‘no one talks about’ and we see glimpses of an epic worthy history.  Come over to dVerse and see how others are poetically tackling their own history!

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3 Comments

  1. brian miller said,

    June 12, 2014 at 11:09 am

    smiles…have never tried to dig on a website…most of what i know is what is passed down…even still there are cool clues like you say that you can stumble upon…when we cleaned out my grandparents place when my gramma moved into a smaller place…we found plenty to fascinate us…

    why didnt you link this?

    • shanyns said,

      June 12, 2014 at 1:13 pm

      I had to run out to get parts to the sprayers and I didn’t press okay on the linky. 😦

      Finding treasures is the best. Some are freaky (funeral family photos with open casket still freak me out) but many are just totally cool.

      Glad you found treasures too!

  2. Grace said,

    June 13, 2014 at 2:38 am

    Am so happy to find this one Shanyn 🙂 I know that surnames or names themselves have to be changed through the years ~ I find it sad that because of that we can’t find our ancestry or tree line ~ As our family have moved across countries, the website works for us ~ I guess there is no need if everyone lived and died in the same place ~ Thanks for writing this one ~


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