Poet, my friend who reigns supremely in the Mississippi Delta, has few complaints. So when he voiced one the other day, I was not only surprised, I was astounded. Particularly when I heard what was troubling him.
During those gray, cloud-filled days, figuratively and literally, I wasn't exactly imprisoned but two years of consented captivity in the unfamiliar North was one of the greatest burdens my Southern soul has ever carried.
I visited a woman, old and gray, her journey of life nearing its winter's end. She settled into an armless rocker and moved gently, slowly back and fro, looking from her view on the porch past the towering magnolia trees that spread the full length of her yard.
A few months ago when Poet, the freelance wanderer that he is, found himself passing through my neck of the South, he called up, then turned up at my front door, then plopped down in my guest room for a few days.
Like any self-respecting Southerner, it's hard for me to pass up reading a well-written obituary. Especially when it runs in the Wall Street Journal and begins by saying she was "a dash of Southern class in a raucous old boys club."
When our friendship was new and still most interesting, Poet sought to impress me. But when the new wore off, Poet cast me into the ring with his other friends who are familiar and comfortable, so there is no longer a need to impress.
Unlike many people, I'm not a maker of New Year's resolutions. Mainly because when I see the need for change or improvement, I resolve to fix it then, even if it's July 23 or Oct. 1. I don't wait until the first of the year.
For some reason, I've always loved full moons. Every time I see one, I stop in my tracks, fully absorb and appreciate its beauty and then thank the good Lord that I lived to see another beautiful full moon.
Only one thing scares me about dying. It is so momentous it rocks my heart with grief whenever I think of it. It is a tumultuous rocking that resembles the Mississippi River in New Orleans when the ocean is signaling that a vicious hurricane is headed that way.