I grew up on the edge of the Mississippi delta. This is an insanely special place. It’s unique in so many ways but there seems to be a magic that it puts in the air. It’s a place where the blues gets in your soul, where hot tamales are a staple, and where everything is down home. Rustic farm style was in wayyyy before Joanna Gaines made it popular. Why? Because it’s what we had.
The Delta is the kind of place where people still speak and ask how your mama’s doing. A place where strangers smile and say hello. Where you bond over things like how many fish you caught, how many deer you killed, and food. Where your nervous about folks you don’t know or have anyone in connection with. As safe as it can be, it can also be dangerous as well.
It’s a place where family is everything. You can have it all but without your family it’s the loneliest place in the world. Growing up we would have fifty plus people at any given holiday. Since my grandparents died and the families grown so large everyone’s began to break off. For me, as an only child with no children it feels like the biggest punishment in the world.
It’s a place that so separated by money it’s crazy. You can see huge beautiful mansions and the most heartbreaking living conditions that exist. People say Mississippi is the poorest state in the country. The delta is the poorest area in the state. If you remove three counties from the statistics in Mississippi the state jumps up to midway on most rankings. All three counties are in the delta. Yet the people there do what they have always done. They keep fighting. They push through. They help one another.