The stories of my life on a little island in the middle of the Mediterranean sea ... and my occasional adventures beyond these shores.

Monday, 10 September 2012

The Pilgrim Steps

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In 1620 a ship called the Mayflower sailed from England to the New World. On board the ship was a group of Puritans who would later be known as the Pilgrim Fathers. The Mayflower left the British port of Plymouth on September 6, 1620 and arrived in America on November 11, 1620 in what is now Provincetown, Massachusetts.
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In 1620 that group of men, women and children went down these steps to face the unknown. I cannot imagine what they must have felt; whether they realized that they would be making history and that, 400 years later the name of every single person on board The Mayflower (including a baby born at sea and appropriately named Oceanus) would be immortalized on a plaque in downtown Plymouth.
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I do not think that I was as moved as my American husband by this simple monument that commemorates the birth of America as we know it, but I was still in awe that I was able to retrace the footsteps of history.
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I stood at the top of that short flight of steps and I wondered – if it were me standing there 400 years ago, would I have had the courage and conviction to board that rickety ship and face untold dangers and violent storms to gain my freedom? Or would I have turned back and walked to persecution and obscurity? Deep in my heart I was glad that  I am lucky enough not have to make that choice. The irony that this has come about due to the very people who sailed from here at so much personal sacrifice, was not lost on me.
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The Mayflower Monument
Location:  The Barbican, Plymouth, UK (July 2012)

14 comments:

  1. Hello Loree:
    When one considers it all some 400 years later one realises, as you say here, the uncertainties and dangers faced by the Pilgrim Fathers at the time. There can have been little thought that their voyage would land them safely in America. And how wonderful that today it is possible to walk where they once did. A most interesting post.

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  2. It must have been an awful trip ! The once who survived where really in a very good health. Today it is very "chic" to be a descendant of the Mayflower people !

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  3. Dear Loree - what a great post...I never knew about Plymouth, UK. It made me take thought and consider where these brave souls traveled from and what they left behind. It is awesome the courage that it took to leave the known for the unknown. I too am moved by these incredible individuals. Thank you for allowing me to appreciate their courage and sharing the steps and place from where they sailed. As always Loree your words and pictures touch my heart. Have a great week.

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  4. Very interesting post!
    History repeats itself today with immigrants arriving in Europe to flee from the poor conditions of life in their countries. So many drown before reaching the Italian and Maltese shores and nobody has thought of making a monument in their memory yet and I doubt if it will ever happen.

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  5. I love that photo of the steps..It puts me in a awe moment to think of those people who had walked before us, and yes history is always to me fascinating to hear and to learn.

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  6. I wonder, too, how many of us would have had the courage ...

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  7. What a lovely post Loree :-)))

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  8. I have a fondness for the Mayflower story. I lived in Harwich, Essex, in the UK, which has strong ties with the Captain. The ship stopped in the town enroute.

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  9. love your little slices of history...

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  10. Hi Loree..wonderfully powerful post..and gorgeous imagery!! always a joy to visit..I have missed your magnificent realm!
    Victoria

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  11. I, too, cannot imagine living during that time. The more we go through the depths of study of history...the more I am so grateful to have been born during this century. Living almost anywhere else in the world..Europe or Asia would have been difficult indeed.

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  12. i like how you put yourself in the shoes of those brave souls who made the choice to board the boat and cross a huge body of water to live in an unknown land. in the lives we live today where many of us never move very far from where we've always lived would never know how that feels.

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  13. Thank you all for your comments. I did not have time to reply to each comment individually - we are painting more rooms in our house :( It was only after I posted this and read Sue's comment that I realised that not everyone is as lucky as we are. that some people actually still have to make this difficult choice. I trust that this, too, will change and that everyone in the world will have freedom.

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Thanks for stopping by. I read and appreciate every one of your comments. However, I prefer to go back to your blog and leave a message rather than reply to your comments here.

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