The Time Traveller’s Life: St. Augustine Adventures

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Here I realised I had already been a time traveler
Here I realised I had already been a time traveler

I had the opportunity to revisit St. Augustine, Florida last weekend. My sister, Sandy and I were attending writer Connie Mae Fowler’s workshop in Summer Haven- only a short drive from America’s oldest city, so we thought- too close not to visit-again. St. Augustine has always been a personal favorite of mine, carrying from wild pirate imaginings of my youth through heartaches and tragedies later in life. With walls and streets so ancient, a few more tears go unnoticed in their centuries of tragedy.
This trip was different- quite peculiar- and not just because it was the first sans children in 7 1/2 years (yes, I called alot and missed them terribly), but this visit we went to places I had never been before- and this time I found out that I was a time traveler- eat your heart out, Dr. Who! I do not speak of visiting a museum to go back through time- but it was such a visit that made me realise I had really travelled through centuries…yes indeed.
Sandy and I went to the Colonial Spanish Quarter a blustery Sunday morning. The air with wind chill factor was in the low 30sF. Brr- and as we stepped into the living village- modeled on a Spanish settlement in the 1700’s in St. Augustine, where a blacksmith hammered iron, a fire burning beside him, chickens ran about in a winter’s bare garden, surrounded by cypress and orange trees, I felt a weird sense of belonging. We made our way to the scribe’s house in the far end of the settlement, and past the blacksmith’s fire. I peered through the open shutters- wooden beds, pottery as kitchenware- tools- I was seeing my Corfu. I must say, aside from when I saw that advert in the movies- a full screen ad of Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, never before have I been hit with such Kepkyra nostalgia. Everything around me, even the cold air, screamed of long winter nights spent in Tritsi, and huddled by a fire, trying to keep warm. This is 1700’s St.Augustine, and I was living it in the 1990’s? It was then I realised I was a time traveller. Everything here was familiar- not museum familiar, but daily life familiar- collecting wood from down the mountain- any wood to keep a fire- the only source of heat, burning- fetching water from the local spring…the smells of wood fires, of loose chickens, of someone cooking a pot of stew over the fire. Dressing in layers and layers of old clothes just to get some warmth- and so it was here, in the Colonel Spanish Quarter of St. Augustine, a 1700’s settlement, that I discovered I have lived a time traveler’s life.

The Colonial Spanish Quarter Museum is found at 29 St. George St in Old St. Augustine. Open daily 9am to 5.30pm

The blacksmith's fire teased my olfactory senses, awaking past memories
The blacksmith’s fire teased my olfactory senses, awaking past memories
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