Boy, do I understand! There’s so much I miss about the Delta, but I don’t think I’ll ever step foot there again.
The good things were the land, knowing all the flora and fauna (except for the hated mosquitoes), the weather, the quiet life. I didn’t realize it at the time, but it’s truly nice for hours to go by without even seeing a car pass by on the road…and when one does go by, you usually know who it is. I miss not hearing any aircraft or cars, but only the crickets or the doves in the distance. I especially miss the stars at night, since there was very little “light pollution”. And I miss the food, and greeting everyone I saw as a friend and neighbor.
But once I left and traveled the world, I finally began to see the rot of racism that informs almost every personal interaction there in the Delta, whether at work or at church, at the hospital or at home. With that realization comes deep and lasting shame that I still feel to this day that I participated in and unknowingly helped to perpetuate.
Worst of all, the racism in that society may diminish, but it will never improve to the point that we see in multicultural urban areas, for those who live in poor rural areas have far less of an opportunity to interact with those of different races/ethnicities/religions.
No, I’ll never go back there. The Delta clay gumbo has all my birth family’s blood going back to at least 1870…but it won’t have mine.