Saturday, May 31, 2008

Stepping back in time

Anybody that has read my blog at all knows that I try to spend the majority of my time away from modern society. The Florida Folk Festival, while filled with many modern comforts, is a place where I sometimes go back in time


At first glance it seems that these pictures could have been taken 50 or 60 years ago. Sitting underneath our ancient tent looking out over this spectacle and listening to people square dance in the distance, I can imagine being back in old Florida. Back in a simpler time. Back when people had a sense of identity and a sense of place. Back when Floridians didn't have to put a disclaimer on our heritage.
This feeling overcomes me even more while at the annual Battle of Olustee reenactment. Dressed in gingham and wool and warming my hands near a fire in the middle of an ancient longleaf pine forest, I can hear "Dixie" and the yells of people joyously dancing echoing through Old Florida. For a time, I have an inkling what life may have been like for my great, great, great grandfather.

Standing in the middle of a tick-infested battlefield sweating by the gallon while being rocked by cannon and musket fire all around me, the sulfurous smell of black powder thick in the air, the screams of men giving orders, the screams of men falling around me. I can, for a moment, feel the terror, the confusion, the treachery that my ancestors experienced while fighting in battle. I am humbled as I fully realize the courage of the men in that war, Southern and Northern, who stood honorably in defense of their families and country while their boyhood friends died in agony around them.

We don't need time machines to bring us back in time. All we need to do is seek out places like the Florida Folk Festival and the Battle of Olustee reenactment, and we can imagine what it was like to live years ago.

Have you ever experienced something that brought you back in time?

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4 comments:

Paintsmh said...

And it sounds like fun too!

SophieMae said...

Great pics! The last one, especially, looks like it came from an old book.

For me, timeportation is usually instigated by music... or a smell. Driving along the Gulf shore, if I switch my XM to the oldies channels, I'm instantly in another time and place. The wonderful sea-salt smell enhances the experience. The other senses sometimes get into the act, as well. Biting into a delicious buttermilk biscuit brings my old friend Ruby to mind. She was the best cook and I always looked forward to visiting her family's restaurant.

And there are those places that take me back to a time before I was born. Not my own memories, but those of my ancestors, passed down from generation to generation. Like you, I seek these out whenever possible. If only we could turn back the hands of time... 8-}

Hurricane Teen said...

paint - sure is

sophie- Great to see you back here! Smells do it to me, too. Pine smoke and gunpowder smoke are my two most memory triggering smells.

Paintsmh said...

I like cherry smoke, and the scent of the old Amishmen's pipes. It is quite possibly the best...that and cows. LOL