Write a new post in response to today’s one-word prompt
As with everything, everyone, every where else in this world, there is often great beauty spread like a crazy quilt over ugliness and sorrow that hides beneath.
I’ve never lived in the South, but everyone else in my immediate family did. My dad took a church in the South shortly after I was married, so he and mom and my little brother packed up and moved. My sister was already there, in the place Dad would spend the rest of his life.
It was a beautiful place in many ways. When I first saw it, there was still Spanish moss hanging all over the place. The moss would soon be pushed out by kudzu, and I remember thinking how those plants resemble nations–one being pushed out by another. It is the history of the world. Contrary to what revisionist historians would like us to believe, America was not the first nation founded on the ruins of the previous citizenship. It’s been happening since the beginning of the story of the human race. Check out the history of the so-called American Indian, for instance. They spent their time hunting, gathering, in some instances farming; but always ready for war and the takeover of their lands by other more aggressive tribes. It’s just the way we are.
The South has so much beauty to offer. Today, “snow birds” fly south to escape the cold and snow and ice and misery of northern winters. Sometimes I think I may be ready to join the migration, but I don’t really want the work of packing up, closing up, opening up and doing it all over again every year. Winter here in PA isn’t as long or as cold as it was in Minnesota. I can deal with it 🙂
Things I love about the South: Beautiful antebellum mansions that have been restored to their original glory; magnolia trees; pecans raining down abundantly in season; the lovely slow speech; the humor (no one can tell a story any better than a Southerner); the hills and mountains where you can escape the sultry humidity of deep summer; the short winter season during which you may or may not need a coat; Southern cooking; and the list could go on a long time.
Things that are regrettable? Well, the most obvious, of course, was the slave trade. More than regrettable, it was evil. The rationale was multi-layered, but one of the first layers had to do with the economy of the southern plantation. There is no way to justify the buying and selling of a human being, so that rationale was that the African slave wasn’t really a human being. See, we can find a way to make sense of anything we want if we try hard enough.
We do need to remember that the first traders in African slaves were other Africans, who rounded up people from other tribes and sold them to European slave traders.
There really is nothing new under the sun.
A lot of our friends have moved to the South to escape the ever-increasing taxes here, as well as the winters. They all love it down there, and I’m happy for them, but I don’t think I’m ready or willing to make that shift. Finances may require it at some point, I don’t know. What I do know is that as the Yankee migration continues, taxes down there will increase just like they have up here. As industry moves south for lower taxes and cheaper labor, the economy of the South will be Northernized. Another kind of invasion, I guess.
They say that Southerners are a friendly sort, and I have found that to be true, at least on the surface. But I’ve also talked with people whose bloodlines don’t go back to three or four generations who are still considered Yankees, even though they’ve lived in the South all of their lives. There is a fierce pride among many whose families have always lived in the South, right from the beginning. You don’t breach that wall easily.
Every region of our nation has its peculiarities. Because that is so, I’m hoping Wordy will prompt us with West, North, and East before we’re done 🙂 And of course, the Midwest is an area different from every other place. Could be some interesting posts to read.