Saturday, February 25, 2017

Trees of Mystery Sky Trail Tram and The Witch of Blackbird Pond

(All Aboard the Trees of Mystery Sky Trail Tram)

"'Would there be room in the boat for me to ride to shore with you?' She begged.  'I know it's silly, but there is America so close to me for the first time in my life - I can't bear not to set my foot upon it.'" -The Witch of Blackbird Pond, Elizabeth George Speare

To end our Puritan and Pilgrim Unit, we read The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare.  It's a great young adult book about coming to America and you know... basically being accused of evil witchcraft because you swim really well.  The girls loved it.  
(View from Atop the Sky Tram at the Surrounding Forest)

"Her hands were unskillful not so much from inability as from the rebellion that stiffened her fingers... she had not been reared to do the work of slaves."  -The Witch of Blackbird Pond, Elizabeth George Speare

The main character is this teenage 'fish out of water' named Katherine 'Kit' Tyler who arrives in the Connecticut Colony to live with her aunt and sticks out like a sore thumb with the uptight Puritans.  Kit is a headstrong high-born from Barbados and it doesn't take long for her to clash with those Bible thumpin' stiff necks.
(And of course, the Pacific Ocean!)

"She liked teaching children, and hopefully there might be a library where she could extend her own learning as well as that of her charges.  Whatever befell, there would be blue sky overhead, and the warmth and color and fragrance and beauty that her heart craved."  -The Witch of Blackbird Pond, Elizabeth George Speare

The reason I love this book so much is that it shows young girls how important it is to follow your true self.  High above the Redwoods today taking the Trees of Mystery Sky Tram, we hung out on the platform and thought about Kit and all her struggles as a stranger in a strange land.
(Rebekah and Dad in the Sky Tram)

"'I've thought of nothing else all winter.  In November we'll sail south to the Indies.  In the summer...'"  -The Witch of Blackbird Pond, Elizabeth George Speare

But we also reflected on just how far we'd come together.  My kids have traveled to over twenty-five countries and still counting.  They know a thing or two about being in foreign environments, adapting, and staying true to themselves.  I'm so proud of that.
(Brian Hartenstein Catches His Breath. Chasing these Kids around is Hard Work)

"'She's contrary as a very witch herself.  All the way up the river she's been holding back somehow, waiting.  Now you'll both have to wait.  I'm not going to disappoint her, Kit. When I take you on the board the WITCH, it's going to be for keeps.'"  -The Witch of Blackbird Pond, Elizabeth George Speare

As we hung out atop the Redwoods overlooking the brilliant Pacific Ocean, we reflected, remembered, and relaxed.  Crucial road trip down time!  What a perfect site hidden among the tallest trees in the world.  We stayed until the last tram, until there was nothing left but to say farewell and follow the sun leisurely back down to Earth.  

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