Last week I went on a trip with my mom, aunt, sisters and my sister-in-law to Boston and Plymouth, a wonderful opportunity to participate in one of my favorite past-times…daydreaming. I love standing at historical sites and imagining the thoughts and emotions that must have overwhelmed the participants.
For instance, were the British soldiers afraid for their safety as they stood in front of the State House amid a mob pelting them with snowballs and rocks? When they heard the call “Fire” were they surprised that their commander would order them to fire on the townspeople? Did they question whether that voice was their commander’s or question the direction from whence the call came?
Imagine Paul Revere’s impatience as he stood here on the shore and watched for the lanterns to shine in the white steeple across the way.
Imagine my impatience to get the picture of me being a tough Plymouth guard before the real tough Plymouth guard came back to his station and caught me wearing his props.
Imagine standing in this room on December 16, 1773, with 5000 others as they planned a protest against the British tax on tea. What were the 100 or so men thinking as they slipped out to dress like Mohawks, board the British ships and throw the tea in the harbor?
Imagine standing on Bunker or Breed’s Hill with other shopkeepers, booksellers and farmers watching 3000 troops from the finest army on Earth disembark and take battle formation against you. Imagine knowing that you only have enough ammunition to fire twice, maybe three times – not nearly enough to stop the massive army in front of you.
Imagine your husband bolting awake in the middle of the night, grabbing his musket and running towards the church bells that were ringing the alarm as you try to quiet the children, assuring them that everything will be alright…knowing that nothing is right and only a miracle will bring him home safely.
What were they thinking? Journals, letters, accounts – many left a record for us, but nothing makes them come alive like standing in the very place and giving yourself time to imagine.
Which historical event have you imagined yourself a part of? Where have you been or would you like to go?