Need a shot of perseverance? Try meandering through the recreated village of Plymouth, originally built by Pilgrims in 1620. You’ll get a clear picture of what it is to stick it out when it would be easier to give up.
The Pilgrims of Plymouth are famous in the annals of American history. They arrived on the Mayflower after months at sea. The fact that they made the arduous journey is not why they are known to us, though. Groups of Europeans came before them and groups came after. The Mayflower passengers were just one of many boatloads of folks landing near present-day Boston.
The difference was that this group of adventurers stayed where they landed for the winter. They didn’t get back on a boat and return to Europe. Instead, they dug in and settled.
You can visit today and meet “actors” who dress as Pilgrims and talk like Pilgrims and work as the Pilgrims did. You can immerse yourself in their world for a few hours and see life from their eyes.
You learn that the first winter was not kind to the Mayflower Pilgrims. Of the 102 who landed, 45 died. Did the rest of them get on the first ship to dock that spring and flee back to safety? No, they refused that option. They persevered through another winter and another. Children were born and the village grew.
They stayed on the shores of the new land and built their wood houses and fences so they could be free to worship God the way they saw fit. They taught themselves to farm so they could survive.
It’s a life of spareness and hard labor. Homes are gray on gray. Men repair roofs and build ladders and chop wood.
Women prepare dinner. Raise chickens. Do laundry.
Books are a rare luxury.
This young man scoffed when I asked if he spent lots of time sitting outside. “No, we work. I’m just taking a short break. We’re usually tending to crops and fixing fences and hauling water. We can’t just sit here!”
Are you living in a gray, tough place? Are you tired of having to learn something new? Just plain tired? Are you wanting to get back on the boat and retreat to safer shores?
Maybe you’re in winter now but spring always comes. It did for the Pilgrims and it will for us, too.
Linking with Sweet Shot Tuesdays.