On day two, my journey brought me deep into Pennsylvania where
quakers took a stand in saying no to slavery. PA was the second state to make slavery illegal, the first being Vermont.
I found the A.M.E. Zion Church, home of the “Slave Refugee Society,” established in 1840 as “a means to help those who sought freedom from the ‘tyrannical yoke of oppression.'” St. Paul’s was the center of black life and culture in Gettysburg during the 19th century.
Molly waits in all her beauty while I absorb.
At first it looked like he was practicing Tai Chi.
No he wasn’t practicing Tai Chi.
Shit went down in Gettysburg. I was the only one left standing on the battlefield on a rainy, quiet morning, surrounded in the justification and glorification of war.
“Find the cost of freedom buried in the ground.
Mother Earth will swallow you, lay your body down.”
I lit sage to honor all the lives, the blood in the soil.
May they rest in peace. May we rest in peace.
I would by lying if I didn’t say I was good with leaving that space and expand my journey beyond war.
I followed the Appalachian trail further south to Frederick, Maryland. Guess what, at this point there is no leaving the Civil War. That town endured one of the greatest casualties in a single day. 23,000 humans dead and injured.
The town of Frederick turned into a hospital. All churches, halls and spaces took on soldiers.
I wandered into the Museum of Civil War Medicine. The two staff people seemed to know every detail of the war and had zero information on the underground railroad. War is the theme here.
The Potomac River was a great crossing for those seeking freedom. I could see the passageway where people gave it a run across the natural stone work. They had nothing to lose, except their lives.
I got lost in Virginia. I stopped to ask for directions. I approached two gentlemen. We shook hands. They asked if I was from America. Scott told me I was very fortunate to meet the most amazing man I would ever meet (him). “For Real,” he said a number of times. He has discovered all the answers to how the universe was created and the questions of all philosophers and scientists of all times. He asked me what I wanted to know. I said, “I want to know the truth.” He said, “Once you learn the answers to everything you want to know you will realize there is nothing to know.” I said, did the Underground Railroad exist?” He said, “Yes, it did. It is no longer needed.”
Final question, “How do I get to DC?” He said, “Take route nine to route seven. There will be tolls.”
We shook hands good bye and he was pretty sure we would meet again.