Monday, June 20, 2011

I Am a Descendant...

I remember a playful delight over the idea of school. I remember youthful excitement and enthusiasm over learning. I remember thoughts, mullings really, wondering if there was more for me than the blind compliance hiding a quiet rebellion and masked by a fa├žade of happiness worn by the elder peers I looked up to. I remember a dramatic move away from all I’d ever known around the age of twelve. I remember the unknown turmoil in being faced with the possibility of being fatherless. I remember hope. Hope in a renewed youthful excitement and enthusiasm over learning. I remember the day when I realized that it wasn’t so much the lessons I took such great delight in as the teachers who delivered them.

There is no comparing my story to that of Jan Amos Comenius. There is a certain thread in the thoughts and remembrances listed above that runs throughout his story as well. If I were desperate, I could pull out old nicknames and remind you that I once was called Amos in my younger days. If I were to point that out, I would of course fail to mention that it had nothing to do with the fact that I was “loving” as it did in Comenius’ case, but rather by the fact that I knew that Amos was a book in the Old Testament when no other of my peers did, and I never failed to remind them of my superior knowledge. Or, on another point of feigned comparison, I could recollect the fact that my paternal grandfather’s side of the family has deep Moravian roots stemming back to the founding of Old Salem in North Carolina. But if I were to point that out, I would of course fail to mention the fact that while my grandfather does have Moravian roots, the only real connection he has that I have found thus far with Old Salem—apart from living there—I fictitiously made up after reading the back of a Moravian Sugar Cake loaf giving a brief history of the Moravians settlement in Salem.

Let’s face it. My feeble attempt to connect my lineage to that of Jan Amos Comenius has thus far rivaled every Confederate-loving Southern American’s claim to be a direct descendant of William Wallace. And yet I continue my search along the genealogical and footnote trail knowing that one day I will be bettered by the search even to simply call Comenius a spiritual and educational ancestor.