Lately I’ve been reading the book Mayflower by Nathaniel Philbrick. I always enjoy learning the stories behind history, but this particular part of history has a special place in my heart because I am the 15th generation descendant of 4 people who came over to the New World on that ship.(Important Side Note: Which does not at all cause my husband to crack frequent jokes about “inbreeding” at my expense.)
This material is dovetailing nicely with all the things I was thinking about after reading Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert, back before my intestines became the unfortunately fertile breeding ground for Hostile Alien Bacteria. Specifically it’s helping me to answer the question, “What’s my word?” Because not only have I realized that, of course, my word cannot be anything other than FREE, all this reading about my ancestors has given me a good idea of where that might have come from.
Of course we all know the traditional story of the Pilgrims and their desire for freedom from the king of England and his church, but it’s the way that Philbrick describes these desires that sometimes has all my hair standing on end in amazed recognition.
When I read things like, “…the Puritans had chosen to spurn thousands of years of accumulated tradition in favor of a text that gave them a direct and personal connection to God,” I remember how powerful an experience it was for me to go through the workbook of A Course In Miracles for the first time (Philbrick, p.8).
Or when I read that they wanted to be “…free to establish themselves on their own terms”, I think about how I have done the very same thing in creating my own work, my own contribution to the world, and my own role within my marriage (Philbrick, p.16).
And when I read that during their services, “…the entire congregation had participated in a passionate search for divine truth”, I almost shot out the top of my head, because that is what my entire life has been devoted to (Philbrick, p. 12).