Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Looking Past the Vistas

Don't get me wrong, I love the beautiful, vast vistas of the Mississippi Delta. The swamps filled with majestic cypress that are called home by egrets, eagles, alligators, and turtles (on logs of course!). The farm fields that stretch from one horizon to the other, broken up only by the winding creeks or tree lines that mark their boundaries and provide protection from the southwesterly winds. The glorious sunsets that not only rival, but remind us, of sunsets over the ocean because there is nothing that stands between you and the setting sun except the flat lands of the alluvial plain known as The Delta.

Yes, I love those vistas. But those are the ones you see most often. Those are the ones that just naturally catch your eye. Those are the ones that, left to their own devices, will dominate your senses and absorb all of your attention, leaving nothing left to take in the subtleties of the Delta.

Over the past couple of years, as I head down Highway 61 South from Memphis and as I return home by Highway 49, I have spotted, out of the corner of my eye, the flash of yellow, purple, pink, or blue wildflowers that line the road and border the fields.

Exploring the creek banks on days where there are no Big Blue Herons taking off or wood ducks swimming by, I notice the lavender wisteria, the butterflies that can't resist the pale pink flowers, and flowering vines, resembling necklaces, that link the ever-present telephone poles that dot the landscape. And the layers of color as crops fade into yellow wildflowers that fade into the vines along the creek.

Ditches are filled with black-eyed susans and an occasional iris marks where a home once was years ago.

And, although they are usually grown as a crop or in gardens, the Delta's sunflowers bring a smile as we pass by.

The next time you are in the Delta, slow down and look past the vistas that usually absorb your attention. Look for the details, the smaller pieces of the Delta that add a richness to your experience, even if they are not your usual focus.

No comments:

Post a Comment