|Ohio River, early May 2015|
"We should always be aware that what now lies in the past once lay in the future." --F. W. Maitland
It was a picture-perfect day and a perfect vantage point.
We didn't know where we were actually going when we headed across the river to a memorial service since we were traveling in an unfamiliar area. But once there, and after parking the car, this is the view we came upon. Whoa. We weren't expecting that.
The scene is the Ohio River, standing on the Kentucky side looking west; southern Ohio is to the right. And suddenly I was transported back 200 years. I was imagining the characters of my historical story in vivid color since the setting is the Ohio valley.
|Anderson Ferry, Wikipedia Commons|
The Anderson Ferry is a Cincinnati icon and historical treasure. Today's ferry transports cars, motorcycles, and bicycles across the quarter-mile distance. 200 years ago we might have been talking about horses and pigs, wagons and carts, women in long dresses and bonnets. The trip takes about 15 minutes. Of course we have bridges upriver and down but the drive to cross the river at those points is significantly longer. But this? This is convenient for people on the Ohio side to get to the Greater Cincinnati Airport, actually located in Kentucky, and people in Kentucky to get to the city of Cincinnati. It's also a quaint experience just to say you took the ferry. And it's so historical--adding layers to a writer's experience.
What lies in the past once lay in the future, as the quote says. The people of 1817 couldn't foresee 200 years ahead, but, wow, we can dip 200 years in the past. Jeannette Winterson says, "History is a string full of knots, the best you can do is admire it, and maybe tie it up a bit more. History is a hammock for swinging and a game for playing."
History is also a ferry, transporting us back and forth, past to present. I love it!