I live in ferryland. No, not that magical place where rainbows are a daily occurrence. Well, okay, it is kind of magical here and coincidently, we do get our share of rainbows. But I’m talking about ferries that transport your vehicle across the water.
The closest ferry is just two minutes down the road from my house and runs twenty-four hours a day. You want to get across the bay at 3 am, they’re there for you. It’s an amazing service, and it’s free! Another few kilometers down the road, a second ferry carries cars across the river. Upriver twenty, thirty kilometers from that one, is another one. Down river there are four, I think. Maybe more. The ferries are, for the most part, cable ferries. My husband once tried to explain exactly how they work, but I clicked off halfway through his explanation. I have my own theories what goes on underneath those ferries. But more about that later.
The point is these ferries are a daily part of my life. I’ve been using them consistently for almost a year. One day as I sat on the other side of the bay, waiting for the ferry, it suddenly struck me how ancient the tradition is of ferrying people across water. I don’t know the history of our ferries, but I do know people have been poling, pushing and pulling their way across rivers and bays for centuries. An ordinary, everyday act had morphed into a ritual that connected me to the ages.
Continuum. That ancient line of activity and memories we carry inside. It’s everywhere in our lives, even if we don’t acknowledge or recognize it. I attended a local concert the other week, where young girls, dressed in their kilts, performed highland dances. Again, I was struck by the thought that those dances had probably been performed thousands of times for hundreds of years.
And then there are the storytellers. That’s right. Us. Telling stories and recreating the world to fit our perceptions. Talk about an ancient act that connects us to the past as well as carrying us into the future.
So here comes the question. Aside from storytelling (too easy!) are there activities in your life tied to an ancient process that has carried over into the present? Since I’ve started thinking about all this, my list keeps growing. But maybe that’s more a reflection of my lifestyle than anything else. Hmm, come to think of it, I have been living in a basement the last few months, and basements do resemble caves.
Speaking of caves and such, my theory on how the ferries work shouldn’t come as a surprise. I have one word for you.