Tuesday, November 20, 2012

The Thrill of the Chase

In her lovely book "Precious Bane," Mary Webb writes: "To conjure even for a moment, the wistfulness which is the past is like trying to gather in one's arms the hyacinthine colour of the distance. But, if it be once achieved, what sweetness!--like the gentle, fugitive fragrance of spring flowers dried with bergamot and bay. How the tears will spring in the reading of some old parchment---' to my dear child, my tablets and my ring'---or the yellow letters with the love still fresh and fair in them though the ink is faded---' and so, good-night, my dearest heart, and God send you happy'. That vivid present of theirs, how faint it grows! The past is only the present grown invisible and mute; its memoried glances and its murmurs are infinitely precious. We are tomorrow's past. Even now we slip away like those pictures painted on the moving dials of antique clocks--a ship, a cottage, sun and moon, a nosegay. The dial turns, the ship rides up and sinks again; the yellow painted sun has set, and we that were the new thing gather magic as we go. The whir of the spinning-wheels has ceased in our parlors, and we hear no more the treadles of the loom, the swift silken noise of the flung shuttle, the intermittent thud of the batten. But the imagination hears them, and theirs is the melody of romance.What beautiful sentiments.

There are days when I have so much new information I want to put in a blog, documents that arrive in the mail, a new discovery, a new place I've visited, but the hunt engages all of my free time. When I have a day off, I sometimes spend party of it in the Heritage Room of a County within driving distance or in the Register of Deeds, or Clerk of Courts office, or trudging about old graveyards. A teenaged me would keel over dead hearing this, but the thrill of the chase has its own rewards.

Today was a particularly fruitful day. I went to the Cabarrus County Courthouse for about the 4th time, and found new records. These ancestors of mine have me going back and forth like a ping-pong ball between counties, as they could not settle in just one, or had to straddle county lines. I dropped by the Public Library where some lovely sisters had set up a history room. There were many treasures, research on family lines, books on Concord and Cabarrus history. I had to go, but I must return. It was a treasure trove.

I do not mean to neglect my blog, I just have so much fun in doing research. And I love it when things come together. I will be sharing my discoveries soon.

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