Saturday, August 9, 2014

'The Love of Thousands'

Walking, I am listening to a deeper way.  Suddenly all my ancestors are behind me.  Be still, they say.  Watch and listen.  you are the result of the love of thousands.--Linda Hogan 9b.1947)

A shipwreck in the late 1700’s is said to have brought my Scottish-born ancestors to the shores of Island Harbour on the British isle of Anguilla, located in the Caribbean Sea.  Three brothers with the surname Webster were said to be the only survivors of an English warship that was returning to England from the island of Grenada.  It seems that war was not their final destiny. 

Apparently, they accepted their fate and made this island their new home, marrying women of Irish and English descent whose families had previously colonized this part of the island. 

For a long period, Island Harbour was known as "Webster's Yard." My great-grandfather, Thomas Alva Webster, was  born and raised in what some refer to as a “white enclave community.”  Although slavery had been abolished in the early 1800’s, there were still marital rules based on family of origin and skin color.   

However, my great-grandfather challenged this practice of endogamy, choosing to marry a woman outside the village of Island Harbour.  My great-grandparents were among the ones to blur the racial lines in this tiny village that is my home of origin.  Their message to me—embrace all persons, love has no boundaries. 

The wisdom of our ancestors reside within us.  We breathe the air they once breathed.  We swim in the oceans that once bathed their bodies.  They are in us as we were in them.  We are the result of their love and the love of those who came before them.  

Could it be that they still walk beside us...unseen, unheard, yet so near that we can almost feel their presence and hear their whispers.  

What might your ancestors be whispering to you right now? Be still. Observe and listen. 

Love to you,

Kathleen O'Malley, Author

August 14, 2014:  
Just today in the town I live in, I noticed a car with bumper stickers that referenced Scotland.  One simply stated, Scotland.  The other read, "Scots are always searching for their roots." :-)

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