Thursday, December 22, 2011

I Have Arrived!

I haven't posted a blog in what seems like forever. Sure, I posted my backroads video, so I guess that counts. But not a real blog.

This city girl just turned around & left after reading this at the Cypress Preserve in Greenville!
But what's funny is I have 5 draft blog posts that have just gone nowhere. Draft titles such as "The Bible Belt", "We Got a New Preacher Today", "Cousins", "It's the Land Katie Scarlet", and one of my favorites, "Leave All Snakes Alone".

So, why didn't any of these make it to prime time? Well, the ones on faith were, perhaps, a little too personal and in my attempts to put them in context, they became too factual. That's a boring combination: personal and factual! And, as far as the others, life just got in the way and I lost focus.

But underlying all of these drafts and why they didn't make it to this blog is the fact that although I haven't finished my first year in the Delta yet, I have actually become a Deltan and not just its observer.

I hope that does not sound bragadocious, because if you are not from the Delta, you can't just claim this "title", you have to be given it. And, that is just what has happened to me twice over the past month.

Ruffin and I had a great trip to the 1,000 year-old cypress tree at Sky Lake
The first time came as I was having lunch in Belzoni with my cousin Ruffin. He asked me to explain what I did for a living, which is always a challenge for me, and we started talking about how the Delta was getting a lot of federal grant dollars to improve health. I casually said "If y'all get it, Memphis won't get it since we are so close". Ruffin immediately came back with "What do you mean by "ya'll", you are one of us now!". Wow, what a moment for me; and very special since it came from Ruffin, the Mayor of Louise!

Just this past week, a Facebook friend posted a story on yet another stranger that was looking for a place to stay in Rolling Fork and how the community opened its arms to find him a place for the night and a hot meal. This was the second such story in just 8 weeks! Back in late October, the hospital, which had the only handicapped-accessible room in town, opened its doors to Rich, who was hand cycling his way down the Mississippi river corridor, raising funds for Convoy of Hope and crossing an item off his bucket list! (Read about Rich's trip and scroll down for October 28 post to read about his adventure in Rolling Fork). This last week, Michael, a 29-year old Australian making his own trek down The River corridor, spent the night in Rolling Fork's B&B and was treated to a Flatland's Pizza dinner (Read about the hospitality Michael received throughout the Mississippi Delta)!

I was so humbled by the giving spirit of my friends in Rolling Fork that I posted on Facebook how I, too, had experienced the hospitality of "Rolling Forkians". Quickly, a friend posted back that they now considered me a "Rolling Forkian" myself.

So, you see, I have been given the titles of "Deltan" and "Rolling Forkian", titles that are near and dear to my heart. But titles that do come with a lot of responsibility. Now, instead of being an observer, I am a member of this great community and as a new year approaches I am committed to becoming more involved in the fabric of the Delta.

I am reminded of my very first post on this blog:

"So now I start a new chapter in the Delta. I have rented a little house in Rolling Fork, MS for an entire year. It's my little piece of the Delta. A base camp, if you will, to learn what it is like to really live there".

And a later post where I hoped that "Maybe, just maybe, some day, I can say I am from there."

I'm not sure I am completely able to say I am from the Delta, but I know I am closer than I have ever been to being able to say just that.

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