Tuesday, 10 March 2009

Walking on History

One thing I have come to realise by writing this blog is that I find History fascinating. On the whole, not the history I was taught in school though. this with the exception of that taught by one teacher, Mrs C.

Mrs C could have had a career as an actress. She spent hours talking to us and telling us what it was like. She had a survivor of the Jewish Holocaust come visit us and tell us her story. She used to act the parts in her stories and told us of fascinating books we might like. Hers were the stories of people, individuals and what they did and why and what happened to them.

During this period of study with her, I visited Germany and Austria with my family. This served to compound her teachings in my head. We visited the Eagle's Nest, Hitler's luxury pad on top of an Alpine mountain. More disturbingly, we visited Dachau one of the camps. Outside the gates, birds sang happily but inside the silence was heavy and unbroken and it felt as if no joyous living thing could bare to be there.

I loved Munich, and would love to revisit this vibrant town one day. Many of the fooderies there feature long tables with benches and it was while eating at one of these that I met an old man. He had only a few words of English and I, only a few of German but we talked. We talked of war and sorrow. He had flown as part of the Luftwaffe, the German airforce, and he talked of his sorrow at being part of the force that bombed my country. And he cried.

Mrs C taught me that history is truly about people. I am not interested in grand Politicians and Royalty in the same way, except where their lives intersect with those of the more common people. They have an equal place in my interest with those they ruled over.

Of course it is not just the people that fascinate me, but how they and their history has shaped the world around me. Britain is an ancient piece of land and the wight of many years of habitation lay upon it, all around, everywhere I look. Even places where they are not obvious. On top of this hill, those rocks were placed on top of each other and formed the base of a wall of an ancient hut. That ridge on that cliff was made by people, most has fallen into the sea now but was it a field wall or was there a mine there and here ran their spoil heaps? Everywhere I go the land is layered in history, beneath my feet and it is full of stories.

This journal was started in order to help me explore my spirituality and it has but I almost regret the name I chose now. I feel that there is so much here that people would not expect. My spirituality is but one side of me and my interests. I have realised I am not a Wiccan but a witch but then I have realised that it is nature that truly draws me and being a witch is a tiny part of my connection to all that is.

These days the stories of people are more accessible than ever in some ways. After I am long gone, somewhere ther is likely to be an electronic record of my life. Maybe just cold hard facts, maybe there will be some emotional meat on those bones. I can only guess how people in times gone by felt, most are nameless and forgotten but still I walk on their history.

1 comment:

  1. I think if history was presented the way your Mrs. C presented it, there would be more history buffs out there than there are....

    Blogs, I think, will wax and wane with the evolution of the person writing them...you could stick to a theme but it wouldn't be terribly representative of yourself...:)