I visited a mound today.
A mound of Earth that was built by Native Americans around 1100 ad.
It was hot and the march to the top was exhausting, but I made it. The view from there is impressive, but imagine how it looked when it was new. Before time and industry wore it down. It had to have been amazing.
I thought about how my life would be if I has been born in that era. Working the fields in the same hot sunlight, preserving crops and fish for the brutal winters, birthing countless children without the aid of modern anesthesia. I’m sure I would have accepted it. How would I know any better? I would play the mother’s role as my mother and her mother did.
Standing on that mound made me reflective. I thought about all the people that had come before me. Civilizations that have come and gone before I was ever thought of. I thought about peoples that just went about their day to day lives, thinking about the past and future just like I do. Did those native women want to live free and happy lives just like I do? Did they dream of future generations and see greatness? The ancestors laid so much groundwork for us to build on and many of us ignore our historical connections altogether.
Would they be sad to know that? Would the people that came before us be bothered by the way we live now, locked in our own little bubbles?
I asked myself these questions and teared up. I hope I’m making my ancestors proud. I hope they gain the peace of knowing that their struggles and hardships weren’t in vain. I hope they are pleased that the legacy they left hasn’t been totally erased; that their lives mattered.
I decided, standing there in the summer sun, that I would live out my days in a way that would make my great grandmothers happy. I hope I’m part of the future they were dreaming of.