Harriet’s Chariot

“When you start looking for your ancestors, you find out they have been looking for you,” Keith Plessy, Four Hundred Souls.
Meet Harriet’s Chariot! Its a hand-made black and silver speckled walking stick gifted to me by my sister-in-law, Linda Fernandez. Two years ago on my first night walk across a segment of Maryland’s Eastern Shore, Linda believed the staff would serve as a guide and protector to help me summon the ancestors if I needed them.
Yesterday when I introduced Harriet’s Chariot to the Sussex Montessori School students I explained to them it will help guide and protect us on our walk to freedom. Once we started out on our walk several students asked me if they could hold it. I said yes, believing it was probably going to be a little worn when returned after all 64 kids touched it. To my surprise, at the end of the walk it was returned to me well cared for by the students.
There was one student who had a difficult time with the walk due to his weight and lagged two blocks behind the other students. As he neared the end of the walk I decided to go meet him so we could finish together. I asked him if he had a chance to carry Harriet’s Chariot and he said no. When I handed it to him his face lit up like a bright star and he suddenly exuded a new found confidence as we walked to join the others.
In that moment the student and I both came to believe Harriet’s Chariot is real.