Roots

Being a Navy brat, and later navigating my own Navy career, nothing I could call home ever left much dust on my shoes before being washed away with the next tide. Having retired in the same southern Maryland town where I finished my Navy career, I haven't felt anyplace drawing me back home. Yet, intriguing information that my older brother just discovered, now makes me feel like Calvert County, Maryland is where I belong anyway.

According to my brother, who has long been curious about the Gillett family genealogy, our
great¹¹grandparents are Leonard R. Calvert and Alicia Grace Calvert through their daughter Mary and son-in-law Isaac Chapline. George Calvert, my great¹⁰grandmother Mary's brother, was responsible for arranging the chartering of Maryland as a colony apart from Virginia. He was a baron with the title Lord Baltimore, after which there followed six others with the same title. I've long had a vague sense of being deeply rooted in America because family oral history noted that our ancestors arrived shortly after the pilgrims. Only now am I able to feel a special attachment to a historical place of origin, and it happens to be the place where I have been living for the past 15 years 😃.

I feel that through this discovery a personal desideratum has, in part, been fulfilled. As Sister Miriam MacGillis put it:
It really matters that we exist. Not to be shoppers or professionals or this-that-and-the-other -- those things are secondary; but what really matters is this deep, deep, deep identity and meaning.
Thirteen generations is deep.
Photo by Matti Frisk
In terms of genealogy, it is possible to go deeper, but Sister Miriam is referring to reaching even further back into cosmological unfoldings to gain awareness of evolutionary history as the ongoing process of creation.

My next step back in time is to finish reading the 940 page tome by Will Durant given to me by my late mother on The Reformation - A History of European Civilization from Wyclif to Calvin: 1300 - 1564 (covering Leonard and Alicia Calvert's early years). Reading this now is very fitting for another reason, as this year marks the 500th anniversary of Luther's nailing of the 95 theses to the church door in Wittenberg. Come September, we will also try to attend our first Renaissance Festival, which is a pretty big deal in Maryland.

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