|Here is one of the anchor points for GE's |
failed "Electric Mule" experiment. They
are visible now only in flood damaged
areas above Long Run on the Lehigh Canal.
An I-Beam shape is noticeable at center.
Though comfort can be found on these familiar paths and old routines, new ones must be struck upon. My mom’s great uncle Albert Nothstein struck out to the Pacific Northwest. The nay-sayers said he’d be back with his tail between his legs. Well they were certainly wrong.
Rarely, though I fill many of my days walking along the canal, do I try to imagine my great, great grandfather James Nothstein captaining his “Mary Ann” on these waters. Nor do I always think about my wife’s great grandfather and great, great grandfather Amos and Calvin Ahner operating the Weigh Lock. Staying within ourselves, digging through our own layers, redressing old injuries we didn’t even know we had, isn’t a place to allow yourself to get stuck in either. There are days I find comfort in my own old days and there are days I find myself caught up in the romance of how I imagine my ancestors’ lives to have been. And sometimes, looking back seems all too pointless, a waste of energy.
|Uncle Albert Nothstein took the path |
that lead him to the Pacific Northwest.
Though you never knew me, nor I you,
I thank you for the lesson Uncle Albert.
But in the end, those who are truly fortunate, will one day touch their own humanness that lies beneath their silt, clay, and dust. It will be those, with the dust in the corners of their fingernails, their shoes coated in the dust of their journeys who have searched the land where the waters have washed the layers away, who will have earned it.
They will be the lucky ones, for they took the chance to really feel.