I wrote a book back in 2010 called Traveling Streams: A Reflective Journey. But as my journey continues, so do my reflections during the downtime of this pandemic. More past travels come to thought as I know that” He drew me out of many waters.” (Psalms 18:16)
While in Mississippi for graduate school during the late 70’s, I was blessed with several mini trips as I traveled through the state. It is very large in size and one can easily drive for hours within this beautiful state. In spite of some of the state’s dark history, the landscape is grassy and gorgeous. During the Civil War, it has been said that soldiers decided that Port Gibson was simply too pretty to burn.
Once when driving back towards Jackson, I heard the band Kansas singing “Dust in the Wind.” I could clearly see that my father was getting close to the end of his journey, and I made a point of jotting down that song’s title. It seemed so perfect and as fate would have it, I was able to get the album with special help and we did play it repeatedly at his memorial service sometime thereafter.
In Jackson, the spring looks like it has been dressed for a fancy party. Even the humblest homes look so rich as the red, pink and white flowering dogwood trees line the fronts of their houses. It is breathtakingly beautiful! And then, there are the tall, strong magnolia trees, for which the state is named, that proudly show off their strength like rooks on a chess board.
I took a one-day trip with a ceramic’s classmate down south of Jackson. He had some business at the Keesler Air Force base in Biloxi. I tagged along and we first stopped in Magee to pick up his sister. She worked for the local newspaper and after going in, I was intrigued as I watched one of her coworkers do the layout before the paper’s weekly publication deadline.
Later, I saw the University of Southern Mississippi-Hattiesburg sitting on the right as he drove. When we made it to the twin cities of Biloxi and Gulfport, we stopped at the beach and got out of the car. The three of us walked on the sand, pulled up our pants legs and put our feet in the Gulf of Mexico. The snapshots from those days are long gone but the memories live on many years hence.
He went on to take care of his affairs on the Air Force base while his sister and I chatted up a storm. We eventually headed back to our respective homes feeling much richer after having experienced the peace of the landscape. This is another sainted memory that floated to the top of my mental rolodex. More travels will be forthcoming as I slow down and allow the cream to rise to the top!
January 29, 2022