Thursday, July 12, 2012

The South

I have always talked about how much I want to get out of Tennessee on this blog.
Sure, I still want to travel the world and live in tons of places, but I understand now that I am going to miss it here.
For those of you who don't really understand how to picture the south, I'll try my best to paint it for you.

In the south, it is common to see little boys with mud smeared faces playing alongside half dried up creek beds. There are plenty of ghost stories and tall tales that have been passed down for generations.  
There are winding dusty back roads that display the land in ways that cannot be described as anything other than beautiful. 
In the south, there is the smell of sweet iced tea on the breath of pretty much everyone. 
Hands hang out of rolled down car windows and wave at passing cars. 
People do a lot of waving here. The person doing the waving most likely doesn't even recognize the passing car, but they still wave and smile. 
Everyone knows everyone, at least in some small way, here. 

There are lightning bugs in the summer, and the forests are set ablaze with hues of red and orange in the fall.
Summer nights are spent conversing with neighbors on front porches with sweet tea and lemonade.
The stories told of past adventures bring smiles to everyone's face.

In the south, people tend to support each other. They are genuinely happy that you won whatever it was because you happen to be the police chief's son's wife's niece's third cousin's husband.

There are parades held at homecoming and at Christmas in which the band always marches.
There are quilts hand sewn for grandchildren and logs in fireplaces.

But, overall, my favorite thing about living in the south are the stories told by the people that I love.
I usually sit, listening quietly and laughing with everyone else, as I hear for the five hundredth time the story about my father being tied to a tree with a hose pipe when he was a little boy.
Or the plentiful ghost stories that my mother, aunt, and grandmother never seem to run out of.

There are stars here, though not as many as there are in more rural parts of the world, and I smile each time I see Orion in the sky.
Once, when I was about six or seven, I remember walking up the sidewalk to my nanny's house and looking up at the starry night sky.
"There must be something else out there besides us," I said to my parents. They both agreed.
That night, I first understood how small I really was.

There is something about the quality of light here that is utterly enchanting.
In the early morning and late afternoon, the land is full of both soft and sharp contrasts between light and shadow. There is bright green grass against deep orange sunsets. There is the black of the asphalt beside the field of wildflowers.

In the south, the summers are hot and the winters are frigid.
In the south, there is plenty of room to run and explore in the woods.
In the south, I learned about the value of family and the blessing of friends.

Peace, Love, and Late Afternoon Light,

No comments :

Post a Comment