If you live long, and I hope you do, you will look back and realize that history has now and then brushed by you with wispy wings.
When I was a little girl, I used to visit Aunt Sarah. Back then, kids could wander around town in safety because we all knew each other and neighbors watched out for each other’s kids.
Aunt Sarah was in her nineties, she had been a school teacher all her life and apparently she liked kids, because kids have a BS detector a mile wide and we kids liked her. The fact that she always gave us gingersnaps may have helped. She called them gingersnaps, but they weren’t flat like the ones that come in a box. They were ginger-somethings; though, hard gingery balls, but tasty.
Her house was old and lovely and smelled clean, like her. It had furniture and knicknacks in there that I had only seen in pictures from the old colonial days. When she told me she was born during the Civil War, I stopped gnawing on my ginger-something and stared. I wondered if she had ever seen a dinosaur, but I was five and had no confidence in my concept of historical epochs.
“Do you remember the war?” I asked. It seemed like a safe question.
“Oh, I was just four when it ended,” she said, “I remember some men in uniforms and I heard them talk about it.” The Civil War. Huh. It was a real thing, then.
What I could have learned from her! But she wanted to know about my life, how my pony was doing and how many kittens the barn cat had birthed. She seemed to think my life was interesting and I was too young to recognize the treasure sitting across from me in the parlor, lace curtains blowing gently in the afternoon breeze, brushed by the wispy wings of history.