Saturday, April 21, 2012

Mohomony, the "Bridge of G-d"

Unique Natural Formation Saved Early Monacans

One can almost imagine the battle...

...raging above this deep chasm.

Amazing Story of Deliverance in Monacan Heritage

Running desperately through the forest, the small band of Monacan men, women and children were vastly outnumbered by their pursuers. Powhatan warriers were overtaking them. Suddenly they came to the edge of a vast chasm! They could see no way to cross it.

They closed their eyes and prayed. Then they looked up and saw the formation we know today as Natural Bridge, one of Virginia's most unique wonders, spanning the chasm. Hurrying their women and children across the stone span, they followed. Then they turned to make their stand. The much larger army was constricted by the narrow bridge and could only attack the Monacans in a much smaller number. The bridge became a great equalizer between the two forces and the Monacans were victorious that day.

Passed from generation to generation, the story of Monacan survival has made Natural Bridge a sacred place to the Monacans. They named it Mohomony, meaning 'Bridge of G-d."

Today a recreated Monacan village stands at the base of the bridge. Because the story predates written accounts, it is easy to dismiss it as legend, yet as we considered it my wife said: "I believe it recounts an actual event." The strategic element inherent in the story (the narrow bridge equalizing the battle) is too much like something another Rockbridge County resident, Thomas Jackson, would want to remember.

Like Homer's accounts of the Trojan War and the Odyssey home, some unknown Monacan warrier seems to have recounted this amazing story, remembering the time when geography aided them in battle. I walked across the bridge on route 11, imagining an epic battle like something out of Tolkien (like Gandalf facing the Balrog)! Young Monacans standing shoulder to shoulder to protect children and wives from an overwhelming enemy, who prevailed that day, passed the story to their children.

It just seemed to me like one of many grand moments in history where the unseen hand of G-d was seen as deliverer.

Today visitors walk beneath the bridge...

...but her greatest story may have played out above!

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