A lot can happen in 24 hours, let alone an entire day, year, or three centuries for that matter. Heck, entire countries can be formed and dissolved. I mean just look at what happened to poor Prussia … declared an official country in 1525, things were going along just fine until 1947 when BAM, the country ceased to exist. (Yea, yea, I know, that’s 400+ years and the country had its fair share of issues, but you get my point — I think?)
Moving on, let’s take a look at what did happen three hundred years ago. Ohhh, this is cool — the first folding umbrella made its appearance in Paris. That’s mega cool. And unlike Prussia, the umbrella’s managed to stick around … of course who knows what the next hundred years will bring. Maybe we’ll all have individual ecosystems where we can turn the rain on when we’re inside, and off where we’re out. (Oh come on, it’s not that farfetched. Not when you think about everything amazing science has brought us since 1715.)
Another interesting little thing that happened in 1715, Nicholas Rowe’s “Tragedy of Lady Jane Grey” premiered. Which, as it turns out, happens to be my favorite play and subsequently my favorite movie. If you’re not familiar with her story, the two sentence paraphrase is this: From his deathbed, young King Edward VI named Lady Jane Grey successor to the thrown of England and Ireland instead of permitting the crown to pass to either of his sisters, Mary and Elizabeth. Some nine days later, the council named Mary queen and had Jane and her husband beheaded when they refused to denounce their Protestant faith in favor of Catholicism. Yes, there’s much more to it, but in essence, that’s it.
I was a teenager when I first saw Lady Jane. And I remember being profoundly moved by her courage — had she only converted, her life may have been spared. Yet this 16 year old girl stood true to her faith and lost her life for it. I’ve often wondered if I would have been as strong. If I would have had the strength to truly believe in that which I claimed to believe. I’m doubtful that I would, but then I live in a much different time. Then again, there are people all over this world, people dying for that which they believe. For country. For God. For family. And when I consider the ultimate sacrifice, though I likely wouldn’t give my life for religious beliefs, I would take a bullet for my family. And I hope that one day, like Lady Jane, I can be remembered as a mother who would do anything for her children — even if takes 300 years.
Today’s post inspired by The Daily Prompt: A True Saint — “In 300 years, if you were to be named the patron saint of X, what would you like X to be? Places, activities, objects — all are fair game.” Oh, and I for one sure hope the umbrella sticks around a bit longer too. There you go, that’s the ticket … in 300 years they can name me the patron saint of umbrellas. I kind of like the notion of being needed : )