Is it possible for a river to be a part of you? If I go more than a month without seeing my Mississippi River, I begin to ache with longing. Every time I visit her, she is different, but it’s a comforting kind of change. I expect this from her. She is quick, she is slow. She is high and she is low. And with every ebb and flow, new treasures are unearthed. She carries things in her current and then lays them to rest at her shores. These are her gifts to me.
Her strength is fierce but she has always been gentle with me. When I am flailing and forget how to breathe the sight of her steadies me. She is there to listen to me whisper things I can’t speak to anyone else. She keeps my secrets, anchors them for me until I am ready to let them go in her current.
Where I meet her she carries piece of Minnesota, Iowa, Illinois, Ohio, Missouri, Arkansas, Tennessee, and Texas, but most just call this “mud”. Here, she is rejected as anything more than a source of commerce. She has widened and lost the allure of purity. She is both the Divider and the great Uniter of these States, and she flows, content without recognition.
But I see her. And she sits with me.