Wednesday, July 22, 2009


One of my first look-ins every morning is at a blog that captures the sights and colors and even the scents of HOME.

The scenes are of the small-town South, with bright spires and ivied graveyards and gravel roads to rolling fields; of bridges and flags and where Jesus lives on signboards, right out there unashamed and uncensored for all to see, and the names of towns and families are spelt out in concrete letters on the lawn---those are the things and places of ME.
I'm just sorry I can't make them load into the spaces between the appropriate paragraphs. I'll learn.
The old churches, withering to dust, the saggy old pianos like patient mules waitin' with their snaggle-toothed keyboards and demure veil of musty velvet, and whose dwindling congregation had not the strength to carry them elsewhere when the last song died. The light and the color are real---I’ve stopped and wandered through those mote-filled old places, walking lightly on the creaky planks, stepping respectfully amongst the sunken stones with their worn-away words of grief and farewell.

And the old hotels and town buildings, the one-street downtowns with whispers of old Co-Cola ads on the fading bricks, and the beautiful scenes of growth and harvest and toil. I’ve spent many an hour wandering the edges of the bayous, where time is unknown and the passing of years a mere drop from a dragonfly’s wings.

The strange growths emerging from the water around the tree are called cypress knees. They’re the only tree I know of which sports KNEES as a body part. They’re upgrowths of the root system, and just ARE, like the wind through the swinging-moss and the call of an unknown bird; I’ve seen them polished and used as table-legs, as mantel-charms, and when they’re shined up and varnished, they make a unique lamp base, much in demand for dens and hunting camps and meeting halls of the Masons and Elks.

This particular picture looks for all the world like a congregation of meerkats in eager worship at the feet of the tree.

The photos are by a marvelously-talented young man, and when I asked if I might borrow a picture or two for sharing here, he posted:

Hey, Rachel,
I can’t find an email address for you on your site, but it is OK for you to use the photo you requested. It’s OK with me for you to grab any of my photos for your use whenever you want!


Go have a look; be amazed and delighted and lost in another place. See the How and the Why and the WE of me, as Frankie expressed it---this is Home, and this is where I’m FROM.

Thank you, Marty, for bringing me a taste of it every day.


kittrellphoto said...

Zowwee, Rachel! That's some good writing there! Thanks so much for your kind words. They certainly mean a lot to me. I am so glad you are able to connect emotionally to many of my photos. It's amazing how many of the images can evoke memories of all kinds. You are blessed to be able to articulate how they do such a thing. I am a succinct writer. I just get to the point and move on. But you linger and savor the moments... stirring them like you do a glass of sweet tea, perfectly happy to wait for the sugar at the bottom to swirl around and dissolve.

I still want you to send me your email address. I will send you a high-resolution version of the cypress knees. There are some other photos of them at Look under the Lake St. Joseph category. My email is on my website.

Thanks again, friend.

Nail said...

What wonderful photos and beautiful places for this native Mississippi girl to see again! I especially loved the pictures of the old churches. What love I see in the hand carved tombstone for Josie...makes me want to go home again even more! Thanks so much for sharing...

Alice said...

Hi Rachel - you were lamenting the fact that you couldn't place the photos in the right places in the text, were you not? I'm not sure if this will help you or not, but I always post the photos to my blog FIRST, and then add the text where appropriate AFTERWARDS when in Compose mode.

racheld said...

It's been a rompin' stompin day, with visitors from all over the world. It's been delightful to come back and see places familiar as home, and others which I'll never see.

I'm so pleased that so many people dropped in and got to sample these wonderful photos. The "Closed" sign never blinks on and the display is up seven days a week, with hundreds of interesting and striking and downright amazing photos.

And Alice---as soon as I got the post all published, my Sis e-mailed to tell me how to go grab the pictures and bring them here, but then they would not go in the gaps I'd made, and insisted on staying right on top.

So, next time, I'll know how; next time, I'll do better. I'm just all toes (not even good as thumbs) when it comes to the 'Net.

Thank you all for dropping in, and I hope you'll visit often!!

Wsprsweetly Of Cottages said...

Thank you for sharing those wonderful and interesting pictures! Amazing!
Also thank you for your sweet visit to my blog during this "down time" for me. I hope I have more to offer soon...

Southern Lady said...

My goodness, Rachel ... you just never cease to amaze and inspire me with your gift of putting words together. I love your description of "HOME," and what a beautiful and eloquent tribute to our friend Marty. Not only is Marty's photography truly awesome, but he is a very kind and special person who has a heartfelt way with words, too.

Beautiful post, my friend.

sparrowgrass said...

We have those cypress knees even away up here in the Missouri Ozarks, and in Bloomington, Indiana where my son and daughter-in-law live. One year when she was an undergraduate, she and a friend knitted a bunch of little hats and scarves, and one fine snowy night they dressed the cypress knees.

Unfortunately, I don't have a picture, but many students surely remember the sight of many little "people" clustered at the base of the big cypress trees on campus.

racheld said...

I'm really glad y'all are enjoying Marty's superb work, and I appreciate your kind words.

Sparrow, I'm smiling right now contemplating all those cute little fellows congregated around the trees, like a troupe of traveling carolers warm in their little Winter woolies in the Indiana snow.

Marjorie (Molly) Smith said...

Racheld, thanks for dropping by my blog. I hope we make it up that far. We usually just take our time and drift along. We enjoy the hunt, but we also just enjoy the scenery and time spent together.
You are most welcome to explain the cyprus knee.