|Mayflower in Plymouth Harbor by William Halsall (1882)|
The spirit of European expansion stirred adventurers to set sail for the New World. Having already been discovered much earlier, the richness of this new land beckoned voyagers to set sail in 1620 for a more profound purpose. Such exploits resulted in surveillance of the terrain and possibilities for settlements.
While the life left behind may have been disturbing with visions of a new life being much better, the travelers found themselves facing far greater challenges than anyone ever expected. Yet, this never deterred their spirit for they were intent on staying.
A strong-willed people from very diverse backgrounds crossed treacherous waters, enduring hardships unimaginable to us today. Hope, faith, and courage remained resolute even in the face of serendipitous challenges.
Hope for an improved life
Led ships to set sail for America
Why did they leave their homes,
Those ancestors of our generation?
Great fortunes some would seek
While others simply settled for freedom
All were hard-working folks
Laborers with varied education
Some traveled as prisoners
Many were indentured servants
Each hoped for a better life
Built on faith’s determination
Faith the Christian cornerstone
Inspired stabilization of belief
Preparing for the unexpected
Confirmed watchful eyes of conviction
Enormous challenges emerged
Within an era of self-belief
All answered their call to duty
When courage was commonplace
Courage to overcome
Took strength larger than life
An innate part of who they were
Hearts and minds did embrace
Thousands of years of descendants
Left their mark for generations to come
Enduring sickness and hardships
With perseverance and innovation
Each has a name, a family
And they are still all together
So who do they proclaim to be?
Our ancestors—Our foundation
Sharla Lee Shults
Sharla Lee Shults
Awakenings is not only America’s ancestral story handed down through generation after generation but it is also their story.
“Do not wait; the time will never be “just right.” Start where you stand, and work with whatever tools you may have at your command, and better tools will be found as you go along.”—George Herbert (1593–1633)