We’d unexpectedly discovered a soldier’s grave in a forgotten theatre of war that from the outside seemed insignificant. We’d become fired by gaining knowledge into a subject few knew about. We’d dug, burrowed and discovered, had two amazing evenings when more questions were raised than we’d imagined. We’d entered a different, older, more sophisticated world leaving behind veneered illusions. We were going deeper, making conscious decisions as young adults, not as kids. This wasn’t school based knowledge, books, slide shows, interactive learning, whatever, borrowed from teachers who might have had a life outside the classroom before teaching. This was knowledge being shaped through our efforts. Events from another country, another time, a set of circumstances fusing facts, episodes and people. Things far bigger than Kevin and I, involving developing relationships. Not as in school, the teacher at the front and the willing, or unwilling, as the case may be, following. This isn’t a criticism of my teachers, but we’d embarked on something very different.
Relationships with experts, collaborating with adults as equals, presenting what we knew to them and having our thoughts, our every word, scrutinised. People in France who’d ignited curiosity in Kevin and I. Both aware of the Monesse Mystery’s potential risks, though we couldn’t pre-judge what might happen. Nor what facts about the past, the deceased and the documents about to come to light.
Developing too, were my relationships with Dad and Shelagh who had encouraged me in the quest that would dominate us during the long summer holidays. But most of all creating a new relationship with myself. I wasn’t just a kid anymore. I was beginning to take charge of my life, my learning and development, as I knew Kevin was. Dad and Shelagh had also been affected by my inquiries and planned a motorcycle tour of Ireland to follow up old places. I guess he intended to meet Shelagh’s family, even Sean if possible. That, however, would take place when Kevin and I were in France.