Although I can enjoy them in moderation, I’ve never really been one for museums. I appreciate learning about history, but I can only take so many relics or informational plaques in one afternoon. Nate, on the other hand, is a sponge. He could spend hours on end learning about the past, how things work, or even about how things may work in the future. And while I’m generally satisfied with keeping my learning confined to the pages of a book, he sees museums as a way to actually step into the past.
One of the reasons why I love living in New England so much, however, is that you don’t have to step into a building in order to be transported to the days gone by.
This bridge in Concord, Massachusetts – spanning the Concord River – has been rebuilt several times. But it stands at the same location where the minuteman won their first victory in the Revolutionary War.
Emerson later wrote:
By the rude bridge that arched the flood,
Their flag to April’s breeze unfurled,
Here once the embattled farmers stood
And fired the shot heard ’round the world.
This is my kind of ‘museum’, and it’s a place that I have appreciated since I was a little girl. The large, gnarly trees bordering the lazy river and the winding, dusty paths have seen so much sacrifice and bloodshed. But they have also seen true patriotism and love of country. To this day, it amazes me that fathers and sons would stand up and fight for their freedom in such a way. If only these trees could talk!
The Old North Bridge is a beautiful place to explore with the family, complete with lovely gardens, dirt paths, and nearby picnic tables. As a child, one of my favorite places along the path – just after the bridge – was a large bush that had been carved hollow like a fort. It’s still there and just as fun to walk through! 🙂
Like so many other places in New England, Minuteman National Park is overflowing with the history of this country. And it’s a history lesson that both Nate and I can appreciate equally. Because visiting such a place really is a little like stepping into the past… without being confined by four walls.