The Touch of a Ghost by greenkayak73 on Flickr.

The Touch of a Ghost

“When I was twelve I used to stay with my aunt and uncle on nearby Daufuskie Island. This is a remote [no bridge] sea island rich in history from prehistoric Native American villages, wealthy cotton plantations and now the growing shadow of resort communities.

In some places on the island, though, time has seemed to stand still.

While walking along the beach, weaving in and out among driftwood trees and tide pools, I came across a pile of bricks. Years and years ago a plantation house had burned and now the encroaching sea pulled its bones into the Atlantic. I picked up a brick as a keepsake and when I turned it over I saw a ghost.

Four small finger impressions were pressed into the side of the old brick. Sometime, long ago, a person - most likely a slave - made this brick from local clay and left his mark for the ages.

A silent signature that screamed of servitude and laborious work.

And now it was mine.

Sometimes when I think work is hard and life is pressing in, I look at the old brick and am reminded that the past is gone and that life could be much much worse for me and my loved ones.

A gift from the sea. A gift from someone long ago who had a life much more difficult than I.

Daufuskie Island, South Carolina”

(click photo for source)