Yesterday I got to spend the afternoon reading and writing at Hyperion Espresso, Fredericksburg’s main coffeeshop. It was a real treat, because life has been so busy recently that I haven’t had time to sit and think and absorb the atmosphere. The experience didn’t disappoint, because I was joined in my lazy Sunday afternoon contemplation by a group of reenactors in costume. It was a classic Fredericksburg moment.
The experience made me think about why I’m so happy to see reenactors in moments like that one. I don’t share their passion for clothing, and I almost certainly disagree with them about what is important to know about the past and what isn’t. But even though we express it really differently, we both tacitly agree that it is important to understand lived experiences that are remote from ours, at least in time. In fact, they care enough to spend an entire Sunday afternoon in itchy clothes. And that is ultimately a very good thing.