A few years ago I finally got to visit Maine and fell in love with it. Anne has family who lives there and we had so much fun taking in the fall’s breath-taking beauty and enjoying all the delicious seafood!
I didn’t realize, however, that Maine is the only state that requires schools to teach Native-American history. Students study narratives, contrasting contemporary viewpoints as they travel to museums like ( The Abbe) in Bar Harbor.
In the wonderful historical fiction novel on the history of The Orphan Train, backed by much research, a modern young female character, named Mollie, discovers she is a descendant of the one of the tribes dating back 10,000 years-she is named for a strong woman chieftain named Molly.
Molly is a teenager and orphan-struggling through a flawed foster care system with damaging emotional scars left on her.
As the story begins she is given one last chance in the system-and part of this experience involves helping a 91 year old wealthy woman throw away some lifetime memories while deciding on what to keep.
Mollie becomes more familiar with a term her Native American ancestors knew quite well…” Portaging.”
In the old days the Wabanakis had to carry their canoes and all they possessed across land from one water body to another, so they had to think carefully about what to keep and what to discard-they learned to travel light.
As she begins to use this example as a way to help Miss Vivian decide herself what to keep or discard-Mollie discovers that they are connected in more ways that she could have imagined-taking both Miss Vivian and Molly back to the tracks of The Orphan Train.
Both literally and metaphorically both women must decide what is most important to them in their lives …as they each must make peace with the past while continuing seeking the life they want to live-It is never too soon or too late to change direction.
So until tomorrow… We should all pause as we continue on our unique journeys…
to “Portage” what is important enough to continue carrying with us and what should be left behind now- it has served its purpose but no longer needed.
” Today is my favorite day” Winnie the Pooh
Quick Update-Betsy stayed overnight at MUSC since her heart procedure ran late-is quite sore today but the surgeons are hopeful -they corrected two heart problems causing Betsy’s sudden attacks-We are all hopeful and thankful that with new medications her heart rhythm can be maintained-Libby and Betsy’s family thank you all for your prayers-they were needed and appreciated beyond measure!
Don’t we love it when Mother Nature uses her aerial friends to transport and plant petunias with your English daisies?