"I am the warm breeze on a front porch at sunset, sweet tea in hand. I am simple, but not in the negative way others may misconstrue it as. Rather, I am the simple celebration of life. I am an appreciation of the simplicity of that breeze and that porch and that tea. A disconnect from the constant movement of life. Time stands still, or at least slows down, when that warm breeze blows through."
This article says it all.
I am Mississippi. This state is a large reason I am who I am. It's the reason I believe a smile can make something not so sweet to say, sweeter. It's the reason for my affinity for magnolias and it's the reason five o'clock is cocktail hour, preferably in an outdoor location—extra points for a front porch. It is why I grew up in seersucker and knew B.B. King since birth and know how to serve my daddy a scotch. It's why I speak slowly to think well, and not because I think slowly. In fact, it's part of the reason our mamas taught us to dress well and speak well and cook well (well, most of us) and to be a good hostess and mind our manners but stand up for what we believe. I was born in it and it was engrained in me and no matter where I go, I carry it.
But that's sort of what home is, isn't it? Forever there. It's like a parent that you often have to leave to grow and stretch and find your own way away from. But you come back—mainly because you never really leave and definitely never forgot. You're always there, or your heart is. It is in you, even when you are not in it.
That's Mississippi, for many.
For the born-and-raised, whose roots are deep and thick and wide. For the college students that come for years and leave their hearts tied to others who found a temporary home among that state. For the artists who leave their hearts through their painting of the Delta sunsets or the musicians who leave their hearts as they gain inspiration from the blues. For the families who saw good times and bad times, booming times and poor times, times of decline and times of rebirth.
It is the Old South and the New South and a magical place really more like the In-Between South. It is tradition and progression, rich in history and culture and while trailblazing into the future. It is charming and it is sad and it is alive. It is the little sister—you can tease Mississippi but no one else can pick on it. But Mississippi is much more than a place—it truly is a way of life. And it is home.
(Photo creds)Daily gratitude: Home.