Friday, 30 April 2010

The past waits patiently

PHOTOGRAPH: Horses at Buckleboo Station.

Nothing has happened and all is quiet. I have not had time to do any more research, nor to read any more books. Neither for that matter have I managed to begin Greek classes.

Not that it matters. The past waits patiently for the present to catch up with it. If indeed the past is meant to catch up with the present.

Ancestry research is like having someone drop a heap of jigsaw pieces onto the table and slowly having to sift through them to create the picture, knowing, as one does, that a lot of the pieces have yet to be delivered and some may never arrive.
Is it worth creating the picture? I think it is. Unfinished it may remain but without putting the pieces together which one possesses there would be no image in the first place. And, in the process of research, one makes contact with long lost stories, photos and people. In putting together the past we create a new future.

My brother Ken went to Hamley Bridge last week and took photographs of Auntie Teeny's old house. It has been repainted and the sleep-out ... and no doubt all the enormous spiders.... has gone, but it looks the same. It doesn't feel the same though. This house, which is revealed in the current photographs looks brighter and more solid. Perhaps the images I have retained in my mind of the old house had more to do with how it felt than how it looked. It is so often the way with memories.

In this process of excavating the past I have made contact with numerous long-lost cousins; first, second and third cousins. What would my great-grandparents have thought of Facebook, or email, or search engines? They would probably have adapted just as they had to adapt as immigrants to a new and unforgiving land.

Circumstances may differ but people remain relatively constant in nature. We assume a lot when we think that our ancestors were so very different. They may have lived by different values but human responses remain consistent.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Ros,

    It is surmised that the Alice referred to on the back of the photo is Pat's sister Alice, rather than his wife Alice.

    His wife Alice was living with him by the time the horse yards were erected and would hardly have needed a photo of what she could see from the back gate. :-)