“Young Henry Byrn…

….out there in the cold yard.” No, wait!

“Poor little Henry, died so young.” Well, ok, but that sounds too sad….

“The young Byrn lad, Henry!” Ok, sounds better……

“Henry Byrn, young American.” That sounds pretty good!

However you want to imagine it, truth is, there’s a 4-year-old child named Henry Byrn who was buried in a mound in our new backyard in 1855. Half a block from the church graveyard, people buried family at home back then. In fact, 1855 was a year of some kind of disease outbreak, because the graveyard on the estate down the road also had 6 tiny child graves, lined up together, solemn as the day is long, all with 1855 at the end.

It’s interesting, because young Henry is situated, well…..right in the middle of everything in our new yard. You can barely walk out the door without seeing the mound just at 5 o’clock in the photo below – and it’s great, I think. I like to step right on it as I walk by and automatically think “Hen-REE!” when I do. It’s one thing to know that many people lived here blah blah, and another thing to see and step over little Henry Byrn, who made it for four years in the 1850s. At that time,  Frederick Douglas was touring in New England as an abolitionist, Harriet Tubman was sneaking people through these marshes using the north star as a guide, and things were getting thick and heavy as the Civil War began to churn. Ten times a day, I wonder about this child, his family – right here on Harris Cove……..what was life like? Imagining a family, grieving a tiny son, placing his small gravestone down in the yard, alone.

But that was 156 years ago, so I’m not going to feel sad, but imagine, instead. Thank YOU, little Henry Byrn – unknowing bridge to the future – allowing us all to look and think and imagine about who you were and how things were for you and yours. I’ve a new reason to spend some time in the historic archives at local libraries, looking about for stories of who you were and what happened that year. My life is richer because of you. Who would have ever guessed that?

Namaste, amigo.

~ by kbosin on May 25, 2011.

5 Responses to ““Young Henry Byrn…”

  1. What a beautiful perspective.

  2. Come meet him, cynthia!

  3. on a kind of a telephone line through time
    and the voice at the other end comes like a long lost friend
    so i know i’m all right
    life will come and life will go
    still i feel it’s all right
    cause i just got a letter to my soul

    “Virginia Woolf” Indigo girls.

  4. Exactly, Pete! Beautiful! Thank you!

  5. […] Remember little Henry Byrn’s grave, at 5:30 on the clock. I’ll use little Henry as a baseline. See how cool you are, little Henry Byrne? https://chesapeakejournal.wordpress.com/2011/05/25/young-henry-byrn/ […]

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