Imagine if you will, crumpled, travel-worn pilgrims who have been sailing for months—an eternity, it might as well have been in their minds. They’d been cramped together in a ship that could only seem to decrease in size every with every passing day of their arduous journey.
They were seeking freedom, a goal that made all the miles, uncertainty, and discomforts worth the unprecedented effort. They were dreaming of a new land, a fresh start in a place where they’d be free of tyranny. Collectively, they shared a dream, but it’s highly likely each also possessed their own individual aspirations. It would be interesting to consider the details of these personal plans. Was there someone onboard who wanted to be a merchant? A creator of a new system of governance? A farmer?
It’s hard to imagine all of the potential dreams that were sailing across the rough waters of the Atlantic Ocean on the way to the New World. Nevertheless, all of these dreams were one step closer to fruition the moment the weary travelers stepped onto Plymouth Rock, in what is now Plymouth, Massachusetts.
Plymouth Rock was the first piece of the untamed land touched by the feet of the settlers who would eventually become known as the Pilgrims. It is a true relic of American freedom.
French historian and political thinker Alexis De Tocqueville said it so eloquently:
“This Rock has become an object of veneration in the United States. I have seen bits of it carefully preserved in several towns in the Union. Does this sufficiently show that all human power and greatness is in the soul of man? Here is a stone which the feet of a few outcasts pressed for an instant; and the stone becomes famous; it is treasured by a great nation; its very dust is shared as a relic.”
Interestingly enough, formal references to Plymouth Rock were found over 100 years after their arrival. Knowledge of its existence was passed along by word of mouth and tradition.
No doubt when people see the remains of Plymouth Rock today [it has been cut in sections for preservation], many see just a rock fragment, not the fragments of the countless dreams that make the United States of America such a great and inspirational country.
About the Author: Harried yet happy barista Brooke Musterman is the author of Reptiles on Caffeine and the proprietor of the excellent blog Reptilian Rantings. Follow her on twitter and connect with her on Facebook.