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What happened in your life today?
I spent today with family. My sister, husband and son, myself and my two adults and my father all went to Monticello today for Dad’s birthday. I hadn’t been there for years, probably since the kids were in elementary school and went to Monticello for a school trip. In fact, it has been years since my family had taken any kind of day trip together.
Not much had changed about the house. The surrounding paraphernalia of Welcome Center, yes, there was quite of bit of change. Then again, I’ve changed a lot since last I went to Thomas Jefferson’s home.
When I was younger, the historic aspect of Monticello, and other historical sites, wasn’t really real to me. Okay, some dead person – famous dead person – lived there or was born there or died there, but so what?
What did it mean in my life? Nothing. Dead and gone. A past I couldn’t even really imagine.
Today, however, things were different. Not just the new Visitor’s Center, but something more, something I didn’t understand at first. Truth was, I was different.
Maybe because I am older, I am more connected to the past. There were books behind glass that Jefferson had actually owed. Books Thomas Jefferson touched, read, loved.
I felt the presence of the past. Could almost see the big family living there, kids and grandkids running in and out, all around the house, the clatter of dishes, laughter.
The real revelation came when I was walking along the tunnel under the house where the daily activities which kept the house running took place. Touching the wall, I was stuck by the years of slaves who’d walked the same passageway on their way to and from their various duties. The actual Wine Cellar, Beer Cellar and other rooms were sterile, but the hallway…..
Touching the wall, I touched history.