Sycamore Trees and Ancestors

I have been drawn to Sycamore trees lately. There are many here in Massachusetts, but oddly, I have not found any on this mountain where I live. Just 20 minutes away, there is a 300 year old Sycamore – so beautiful – so majestic. I am in awe of it every time I pass by, yet something in my core/gut tells me there is more I need to know. When I was driving to MD last weekend, my path was lined with Sycamores. I saw them everywhere, especially passed the Mason Dixon Line. I began to think of my ancestors and lives lived long ago. These trees had a story to tell, and even though I had no idea what, my bones knew of some experience I (my ancestors), had with them. When I returned home, I googled “Sycamore trees and Slavery” and to my astonishment, I discovered what my bones already knew. There are many stories of lynchings from Sycamore trees. Too many to read about. But I did find this one story that struck me, about a 17yr old girl who in the face of death, was fearless. I know, I know – no one wants to hear or talk about this stuff, it seems many would rather sweep it under the rug and forget it ever happened! Doing so however, erases the lives of so many beautiful people who lost so much, fought so hard, suffered, and persevered against all odds. They are America’s unknown sheroes and heroes. So today, I honor the brief life of Amy Spain. A young nanny living in South Carolina in the mid 1800’s. Here’s her story:


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