Stories to tell
“With thousands of years of human habitation, this land surely has stories to tell. The trees rustle with whispers of those who have come and gone.” — from a display at the Visitor’s Center at Fort Raleigh National Historic Site
Recently Jeff and I visited beautiful Roanoke Island, North Carolina, the site of the mysterious “Lost Colony.” Encountering such unanswered questions of history, it’s easy to let imagination take flight as surely as the Wright brothers’ plane did at nearby Kill Devil Hills. The sylvan enchantment of the grounds around Fort Raleigh are especially captivating for those of us who are inclined to create mental pictures to fill in the gaps left by the information engraved on historic markers.
Have you ever visited a place rich with history and felt some intangible sense of what happened there in years past? Do you love to read historical novels that take up where the often debatable “facts” of history leave off? Touring a spot that has stories to tell, whether it’s a modest home built centuries ago or the ruins of an ancient city, helps me step out of my own circumstances and breathe in the richly textured nuances left behind in whatever remains or has been re-created. As with all forms of travel, visiting another era gives me perspective on my own struggles, helping me see my life with newly appreciative eyes.
If traveling to a geographically distant place is not possible for you anytime soon, try taking a vacation to a bygone era. No matter where you live, you will be close enough to such a place to make a daytime visit there and be back in our own time by evening. You won’t need to pack anything except maybe a camera, but do bring along your imagination. Those of you who are experienced time travelers, share some of your flights of fancy with us!