Saturday, May 21, 2011

To a Far Away Land

This is a story about a teenage girl who lives in Ireland during the potato famine (1845 -1852), and moves to America.  No promises that I will post a continuation of it, I'll have to see about that, but I hope you enjoy it anyway!


The sun was just beginning to rise over the mountains.  The air was cool, and fresh.  The breeze gently played with my long, curly, red hair.  I could nearly taste the salt from the Irish sea the breeze blew over.

Aye, the sea.  The beautiful place where the huge waves crashed until they got smaller and smaller and rolled upon the sandy shore, where the seagulls flew above and greeted each other as they flew by...  Aye, this was where I wanted to be that new day in Ireland, but I was not.  Instead of the seagulls, the chickens squawked as they ran around trying to get their breakfast as I threw down bits of corn for them.  The cow mooed in the barn beside me where my brother was milking.  We made little money from the milk and eggs we sold.  We had been potato farmers, but when the famine came, well, there just weren't anymore potatoes.

My thoughts turned back to the sea.   My family had been saving every spare coin to buy a passage to America. 

America. I thought.  Will it be anything like here?  Mama says it doesn't matter 'cause we'll all be together...

I thought of the massive ships I had once seen at port when I walked by them with Papa.  They had boasted tall white sails, and the Irish flag had been flapping bravely in the wind as if waving good-bye.

Aye, I thought of that sea - that big, loud, frightening, exciting ocean, compared to my favorite, peaceful beach I enjoyed so much.

In ways, I was excited to travel to America.  Papa said we would have a new start there.  We wouldn’t be so poor anymore, and maybe my brother and I could get a good education.   I was not excited about making the long voyage on that dirty ship with a whole bunch of people I didn’t know.  There were diseases and rats and I do not like being in a small place with no other place to go or see for a long time. 
I was going into the unknown.  I was excited for the adventure, but wondered what it would really be like.  I was sad to leave the dear people I had known nearly all my life.  It brought me to tears every time I thought about how I’d probably never see those I’ve loved most ever again on this earth.
"Kalina!" I woke up from my daydream.  "Come into the house, please!"  

It was my Mama calling.  I ran into the house, dropping the left over corn bits that I held in my apron on the ground.  

"I need to run into town and buy a few last items for our voyage across the sea.  We only have a few days left here, ya know," she said with a sigh. "And I need you to make the bread this morning."

"Of course, Mama," I said.  Things had been quite hectic around here, now that the days were getting closer and closer to our departure.  "However, I don't know how you make it taste so good.  I'm sure mine just won't be the same!" 

She patted my cheek, and said, "Oh, my little darlin'.  I'm sure you'll do a fine job of it!" She smiled. then said, "Now, I better get a runnin' down to town.  No need diddle dabblin' round here!" 

She left the house, and everything seemed quiet, for awhile.  My brother was in the barn, and Papa was already down at the port tryin' to get everything settled for our journey.

I kneaded the bread up, and down, like the waves of the sea...    
I could hardly bear to leave my church, but it helped to know that God would always be with me.  Even if I had to leave all my friends, He was a Friend who’d always be with me.  

It was so hard to leave my home that Papa had built with his own hands, and where I had grown up.  It was hard to leave our dear animals that I’d known for so long and loved.
It was hard to leave my country, especially knowing I would probably never return.  I had always wanted to visit other places.  All the stories I’d heard about the beautiful places and how the people there lived their lives differently made me very interested in visiting, but I never thought I’d have to leave my home forever.
All the dreams I’d had of raising my own family here, in my own country, were dashed.  

I worried about being considered an outsider.  Did Americans look like us?  I hadn’t seen many pictures, so I wasn’t sure.  How did they dress?  Did they talk like us?  Would we be welcomed? It would be very difficult.

I knew there were Christians in America, but were there people who thought like us?  Would I have many friends?

Just as I was rolling out the dough, a tall young man, with dark curly hair, opened the door.  It was my brother.  He came in, and sat at our little table.  

"What do you think America will be like?" I asked,, still rolling the dough.

"Oh, stop worryin' about that!  I'm sure it will be quite nice!  You'll make lots of friends - I don't see how anyone couldn't like ya! Well... maybe..." He stopped and smiled.

"Oh, you stop!" I said with a smile.

"Well, you'll always have me!" He said, grinning. 

I smiled and said, "And you'll always have me."   


Those last days passed much too quickly.  Before I knew it, I was on that big, tall ship off to an unknown land. I waved good-bye to my friends on the shore, the sea misting my face, until I could no longer see them.  

Good-bye. I thought.  I will miss you all ever so much, but may we meet again sometime soon. Aye, sometime very soon.

Then I turned West, and faced the vast unknown.  The sea spread wide before me.  The air was cool, and fresh.  The breeze gently played with my long, curly, red hair.  I could taste the salt from the sea the breeze blew over.  Aye, the sea.  I was now on a most exciting journey to a far away land that I would learn to call home.

Thanks for reading!  If you have any comments, please let me know!  Thanks!


Cindy said...

Fun story! I hope you will post more!

Jubilee Hoover said...

That was a beautiful story. You write very well. Jubilee

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