A Pilgrim's Journey

Times were hard back at home, the pretty little island named England. For my people, the persecution had become too much for us to bear. What we needed was a place where we could practice our religion without fear, a place where we could raise our children, and far from the heathens that governed our beautiful homeland... England.

While my husband promised me that everything would be alright, I still had my doubts and fears about leaving home. It was the place where I grew up, where I had learned from my parents and met and married my husband David. "Sarah," he had said. "You don't need to fret, God will provide for us." I remember smiling at him and at those words, and knew that he was right. He was always right about this sort of thing. All too soon, he and I were on a one-way trip, to go far from home to the "New World" with the hope we would have everything we could ever possibly need.

Back and forth, back and forth the ship tilted and turned underneath my feet. The air was stale in our tiny cabin; there wasn't much room in which to move. The ship provided us with only the bear minimum: a single bed, a shelf unit and a desk. This is where we were supposed to live for the six long months it took to cross the wide and stormy Atlantic Ocean. The still air in the tiny area suffocated my lungs; but, above deck was treacherous. Unmarried and married men alike ran about to keep the ship going in the right direction. It seemed that no matter where I stood to get a breath of fresh sea air, I was always in one of these men's path. "The deck is no place for a woman!" I was told by one of them, and even though this man was unsaved by the Lord Almighty, I did what any good person would do. I went back to my cabin to stay out of the way of these wicked people surrounding us.

The sea around and beneath the ship turned angry one day. The ship rocked and moaned with the waves like never before, but we were not afraid. Being as devout as we are, David and I silently knew that God would protect His faithful followers through the times of the Devil.

Six months had passed, and it was due time that we land on the shores of our Promised Land. I remember the first time I saw it, all covered in trees, just waiting to be improved upon. I was getting a breath of air when one of the wicked ones called out "Land!" and pointed in the direction we were headed. I looked out and laid eyes on the land that we could call our own. All of my people's dreams of living a life empty of persecution were about to come true. My husband came out on deck and stood next to me. "Look, David," I had said. "Is that our new home?" he answered with a single word, "Yes." I smiled at the thought of what a good decision it was to make the voyage to the New World. This was a new land that could make a people's dream come true, but there was one problem with this wonderful place.

Savages, the native people of this land. I had heard stories of these people murdering entire families. We would have to keep a watchful eye on the deep woods where these "people" lived. "Imagine," I thought to myself, "a group of people living without the Word of the Lord." The first few weeks went by without many problems with these savages. We were busy making use of the land and making our homes. My husband said that winter was on its way, and that the new town may not have enough food to make it through. Right after he had finished talking, the lookout for the town sounded off, "Savages a-coming!" I remember being afraid for the first time since I had walked off the ship onto this land. I dare not follow him outside as he ran out with his musket. Time seemed to stand still as I waited for my precious David to return to me. He came through the door with a gust of wind, and said "The savages offered us something, but none of us knew what it was." I asked him what it meant, and he answered plainly as he looked out the window at the retreating natives, "I don't know."

David was right though; the winter came and was longer and much colder than any we had known back at home. But we had not seen any more of the native people for the length of the winter. Food ran low, and I saw the people that I had laughed and shared good times with, die from hunger. But I knew the true reason why they had died: they lost faith that God would provide for them, and so that was their punishment. David and I felt the pains of hunger as well, but we did not lose our faith, and because of that, we lived to see the long awaited warm weather, and the colors replace the dull grays and whites.

The season of planting had come, and still we saw nothing of the savage natives. It had crossed my mind, as well as the minds of others, that maybe these people did not want to bother us, ever though we were living on the their land. Possibly they were willing to let us live, and bore us no hatred. By leaving us alone, they could be thinking that we would leave them alone too. That was fine with me but not for some of the others in the town. They wanted to spread the Word of God to the native people. It is a good thing to do, but maybe it is too soon to try to talk to the heathens in this, the New World.

Spring had been long awaited; the warm air that was surrounding us was a comforting feeling while living amid the wilderness. More talk of spreading God's Word to the natives was moving through our town. At one of our meetings, it had been decided to not go forth with this idea. "How would we talk to them?" and "We don't know where they are," were among many of the things said at that gathering. I said nothing throughout. But the decision had been made, and that was final. at least for now it was. Many were upset that they had to live so close to the natives and no attempts at civilizing them would be made. As soon as the meeting was over, David and I went straight back to our little house on the outer circle of the town. I had heard murmurs and whispering about us as we walked out: "I wonder why they don't talk to anyone," and "What do they have to hide?" But I paid them no mind.

That night, as I was cooking supper over the fire, the light suddenly shifted. It was a clear night, the moon was out and we could see it through our window and now there was only candlelight helping me see what I was doing. I stood up straight and looked towards the window. I couldn't see anything clear, but there were three figures standing outside our little house, and I could see feathers in their hair. I didn't have to say anything, David also looked. He stood up and locked the door and closed the curtain that I had made to the window. That made it clear to me that neither one of us was going out to where the heathens were. We ate supper in silence and could hear the natives talking in their wicked language. "As soon as the sun rises," David said to me. "I will go out there."

The rest of the night passed without incident. And true to his word, as soon as the sun rose, the door was opened and we were both ready to step outside into the unknown. Before even getting outside our door, David tripped over something that was laid out in front of the doorstep. We looked down and saw a basket, finely woven out of long, smooth sticks. I picked up the basket and went inside before anything had the chance of happening. As we picked through the basket, we found seashells, a string of beads, and when I held them up, they shimmered in the sunlight. On the bottom, there was a flat block of wood about two hands length and width. The smoothed wood had been carved, with a picture of the ship that we had sailed here in, and below that was a picture of the town we had built. But beneath that, there was a carving of people, there were people wearing the feathers of a bird in their hair on one side and people with English hats on the other. The two people were carved close together. David and I looked at each other and he said, "Maybe they do want to be friends after all." I nodded, and could only wonder at future God had in store for us as I held the string of beads in the sunlight again.