Ties to the Past with Fondness


Dear Reader:

Some days the past just seems to creep up on us… leaving us lost in memory … thinking to ourselves… ” Those really were the days.”

When I first visited Hampton Plantation in 1973 the old Rutledge plantation had just been turned over to the state and was now a National Landmark. Just a week after my initial visit the Post and Courier announced the passing of Archibald Rutledge -the last private owner of the once rice plantation.

The state was still doing much needed renovations and repairs on the old house but eighth grade South Carolina teachers were given an amazing opportunity to walk the grounds and see certain sections of the mansion. It was the day I fell in love with it.

I started reading every book I could get my hands on by Archibald Rutledge and had my first deja vu episode while bringing baby Mandy home from the hospital after giving birth.

I still remember the nurse and orderly getting me situated in the passenger seat and handing me little Mandy. No baby car seats… just me with one belt around both of us. I couldn’t take my eyes off her… and it was then I remembered why I was holding her tightly.

In Rutledge’s book-God’s Children… he told about the tradition that occurred the first time a plantation baby was taken outside after birth.

The occasion called for a religious ceremony. The mother would slowly walk towards the open door… holding the child securely in her arms. Beside her walked another member of the family, talking soothingly to the baby’s spirit, for fear that when it came under its native sky, the soul may suddenly want to return home. The spirit was told what a beautiful, joyous world this is… in order to reconcile it to its sojourn on earth.

Before I even had heard the term ” God Wink” Louis Armstrong’s 1967 hit ” It’s a Wonderful World” came on the radio and on that day I felt such connection with God, our Creator.

It was on that hot day in September 1975 that I knew what Being One with God really meant.

So until tomorrow … the true temple of religion is in the heart.

” Today is my favorite day ” Winnie the Pooh

About Becky Dingle

I was born a Tarheel but ended up a Sandlapper. My grandparents were cotton farmers in Laurens, South Carolina and it was in my grandmother’s house that my love of storytelling began beside an old Franklin stove. When I graduated from Laurens High School, I attended Erskine College (Due West of what?) and would later get my Masters Degree in Education/Social Studies from Charleston Southern. I am presently an adjunct professor/clinical supervisor at CSU and have also taught at the College of Charleston. For 28 years I taught Social Studies through storytelling. My philosophy matched Rudyard Kipling’s quote: “If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.” Today I still spread this message through workshops and presentations throughout the state. The secret of success in teaching social studies is always in the story. I want to keep learning and being surprised by life…it is the greatest teacher. Like Kermit said, “When you’re green you grow, when you’re ripe you rot.”
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4 Responses to Ties to the Past with Fondness

  1. Honey Burrell says:

    Loved this blog! How true, the temple of religion really does dwell in the heart. The picture of you and Mandy is priceless! Love you both lots and lots😘💕😘


    • Becky Dingle says:

      I will never forget that day bringing Mandy home from the hospital….a day so filled with joy…life would never be the same…and it never has…hard to imagine a world without family in it…ties and connections that keep us bound together for eternity.


  2. Rachel Edwards says:

    Such a sweet entry today…the hymn “Nearer My God To Thee” came to mind. How close God is to all of us through the Holy Spirit who resides in our hearts …our souls and minds…and His wonderful world is a constant reminder of His love and grace…loved the pucture of you with baby Mandy…❤❤❤


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