Wednesday, 29 August 2007

Friday, August 24, 2007 Lennoxville, Quebec

There's water. There's earth. Together thy create mud. Mud is what the feet have to trudge through sometimes. Today was one of those days. When it didn't rain, the humidity was very high. Sweating was insatiable.
A man in his early sixties pulled over. He introduced himself as Jacques and asked if Simon and I wanted to go back to 1863, the time of the American Civil War. Jacques operates the old Capelton Mine which is open for the tourists. In the war, copper was used for ammunition and so the mine, closed in 1907, is now reopened for the public.
The words 'Free of Charge' were enticing and 8 degree Celsius in the mine sounded even more interesting. Some facts: 14 year old boys started 12 hour shifts; the average life span of a miner was 35 years old; a miner would earn $1.10 per hour (that was good money in those days). Donkeys, used as beasts of burden, in the cool, dark and dusty mines, usually died inide the mine. Rats were the alarm system. They were left inside and kept fed. If they would make a dash for the mine opening it meant they felt a shake in the rock and a collapse was coming. The mines were not regarded as a place for women, so superstition had it that if a woman entered entered a mine, a major tragedy would happen. When tired, a miner would take a cat-nap on a plank about one foot wide.
This was all intriguing to me and inspirational as to the energy of labour put in. You could not be lazy or crazy in the mine in those days. The mine was rustic and historic. Well worth seeing this kind of thing.
I'm out here to learn about people as much as I like to teach about spirituality.
On highway 108, a reporter named Perry Beaton, from the Sherbrooke Record (an English newspaper), came to take photos.
Guillaime and Caroline were our gracious hosts for the night in Sherbrooke.
38 kms

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