Thursday, April 13, 2017


Can a place hold memories for centuries?  I believe it can.  I believe the memories ignite when we enter the infused space.  I believe the memories speak in the form of stories and emotions to those who listen.  I have been to many places that cry out for me to write about them.  In Virgini, I knew the Shirley Plantation anted me to write a story about a blue dress.  Ellis Island contains a story of a woman held captive by her husband.  Ross Creek Cedars whispers to me about a young girl named Nissa.

Other places hold feelings.  When we looked at rentals in Helena, both my husband and I felt an evil spirit in a house we looked at.  A place down by the river near Wolf Point is very peaceful for me, but my mother-in-law is unsettled by the land.  There is an imprint in each area that speaks to us.  We don't know why, but it still exists.  York held this for me.

In 1395, my ancestor William Nykson was born in York, England.  I have no idea where in the city.  I have no idea how big the city was back in the day.  I do know he must have seen the city walls that surround the medieval section of York.  I would think he saw the castle, though I didn't get the chance to see it.  I also know my family lived in the area during the War of the Roses, 1455-1487.  All of this fascinates me beyond belief.  The War of the Roses was my favorite era during my year of British history that I took in college before I knew my ancestors came from this area.
The White Rose,
The Symbol of the House of York

Walking through the city gate, I marveled at the walls that seemed to wrap their arms around me in greeting, like meeting a long lost relative.  I walked up the narrow cobbled streets in wide eyed wonder.  I delighted in the names of some of the taverns and laughed at finding the Missoula restaurant.  I felt transported back to the 1300's or an amazing fantasy novel.  My blood pumped with the blood of my family who forged a life on this island.  I soaked in the life and pulse of the Nyksons.  I had come home.

The City Gate

Yes, I loved the Shambles Market. 

Shambles Market

I was in awe of the York Minster with all the stained glass windows and amazing architecture and statues.  Before arriving, I studied a little bit about Saint William of York.  Our tour guide took me to Saint William's window of panels.  I need to do some studying of his life.  I also want to study all the panels.  On a side note, the guide and I chatted on our own about JRR Tolkien.  He showed me a picture of a book he found in a used book store.  The title page is signed by the author.  Amazing.


A three headed queen.

An engraved pig.

William of York

I was fascinated by the Roman column and statue of Constantine the Great. 

Constantine the Great

Roman Column

None of this compared to my feeling of coming home.  York is my other home.  Yes, Montana will always be my primary home, but York is the second.  I will admit that I was disappointed because no story revealed itself to me.  However, I know when the time is right, I will go back to York to spend an extended amount of time.  I believe a fiction story of my ancestors is percolating in my head waiting for the correct time.  I have work to do.  I have to study the War of the Roses and the history that came before hand.  I want to play with my theory that the Nyksons came to England from Norway as Vikings when York was called Jorvik.  But this will happen about five years from now and I am already excited for that adventure.

River Ouse

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