Rarely have I enjoyed an audio book more than this one. Tidbits of information about the Pilgrims and their journey to the New World came fast and furious. One particular piece of information fascinated me.
Edward Winslow (1595 - 1655) was one of the original 102 passengers on the Mayflower and a leader of the English Pilgrims who landed on the shores of America on November 11, 1620. Winslow would serve as the governor of Plymouth Colony in 1633, 1636 and then again in 1644. In 1624, not yet four years after the Pilgrims came to America, Winslow wrote an account of the early years. His book, Good Newes from New England, or a True Relation of Things very Remarkable at the Plantation of Plimouth in New England, is not only primary source material about the Pilgrims, it details many customs and traditions of the Native Americans (Indians).
By the year 1624 Winslow had become a close friend of Chief Massasoit and his Pokanet Indian tribe, the people most historians credit with helping to save the Pilgrims from starvation during that first cold winter of 1620/1621. Winslow recounts taking a long walk on an Indian trail with a Pokanet Indian and learning for the first time how Pokanets preserved their history for posterity through memory holes. Winslow wrote:
Instead of records and chronicles, they take this course, where any remarkable act is done, in memory of it, either in the place, or by some pathway near adjoining, they make a round hole in the ground about a foot deep, and as much over, which when others passing by behold, they inquire the cause and occasion of the same, which being once known, they are careful to acquaint all men, as occasion serveth therewith. And least such holes should be filled, or grown up by any accident, as men pass by they will oft renew the same: by which means many things of great antiquity are fresh in memory. So that as a man travelleth, if he can understand his guide, his journey will be the less tedious, by reason of the many historical discourses will be related unto him.Using these memory holes the Pokanets shared important events in their history with their children and grandchildren as they walked, telling tribal stories and passing down their heritage as they paused to keep the memory holes clean from overgrown brush. The Pokanet Indians seemed to have understood the importance of preserving past in order to maintain the cultural cohesiveness and intellectual unity of their people.
Could it be that one of the reasons our nation seems to be falling apart at the seams is because we have refused to keep clear and clean the memory holes of our past as a nation? As Independence Day 2016 approaches, I think God that my parents and educators instilled within me a love for America's forefathers and our nation's heritage.
"A nation's posterity knows prosperity only when the nation's principles held dear are made clear and the nation's past is made fast." W.Wade Burleson