Monday, October 27, 2008
Today I slept in until 8 am WooHoo! I jumped out of bed quickly, because Kimberly had to get to the airport, and we were going to go to the slave market. It was called Ryan’s Mart and it was where slaves were traded in Charleston. It was very humbling to think of how we thought it acceptable to view people as property and had no regard to family except to use it in the lives of slaves to manipulate them. As I write this, I feel so inadequate by the statements I have mentioned. What do you have left, if you don’t have your freedom? Terrible, terrible, and a few of the quotes rang in my soul ,like, “Am I not your sister and your daughter?” It was deeply riveting.
We all dropped Kimberly off at the airport and went to Middleton Plantation. The grounds were quite remarkable, and my favorite part of the visit there, besides seeing the old, majestic oak trees, and how ancient they looked, was seeing how the southern economy, so strong pre-civil war era, was affected during the civil war and then was further affected at the abolition of slavery. The knowledge the slaves brought over from Africa shaped Charleston, especially pertaining to rice and indigo.
Our garden guide talked to us about formal gardens, symmetry, and depth of illusion. Amazing what you can do with plants and landscape architecture. The wood nymph statue was gorgeous, but the secret gardens were disappointing. Just a small grassy field covered in grass and surrounded by high bushes. Francis Hodges Burnett’s book of the Secret Garden, being my favorite book as a young girl, I wanted to see blooms pushing through the dirt, a high wall, rose bushes, ivy, and tall trees. What I saw was a grassy field planked by bushes. We saw so many things, though. The plantation was self supportive, including pottery, woodworking, and weaving.
We finished the vacation in Charleston at Magnolia restaurant, and it was all delicious food. We had a great time laughing and embarrassing dad with all the racket. Only one night and half a day left, then I get to fly back to my family. Charleston has truly been a charming, genteel, southern city, ripe with history.