Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Delta Memories.........

Our trip to Greenville this weekend brought back memories from my "growing up years" .....farmers, on tractors with discs trailing behind them, were stirring up the dust, as they readied their fields for another season. In some places, early planted corn had already begun to break through the dirt. The rows of freshly turned black soil stretched, it seemed, to eternity. The black dirt, termed "gumbo" because it sticks to your shoes when wet, has a smell like no other when it's freshly plowed. Even dirt can smell fresh and clean when it's newly dug, in the Spring.

In the fall, I love the rows and rows of white cotton - ready for the pickers. In years gone by, those pickers were human with cotton sacks dragging behind them .....and their hands were often scratched and bloody from the pricks of the cotton bolls.

As they bent low, over the stalks of cotton, they had their own rhythm about them as they grabbed each fluffy white ball and thrust it into their sack. If one stood quietly, you could hear them singing or chanting as they pulled the cotton from the stalk. They often sang their own music, but how wonderful to hear the strains of "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot" as they worked the rows. Their singing seemed to help keep them at a steady pace even as they worked in the sweltering heat of the Delta summer sun.

Once full, the sacks were weighed, the poundage recorded, and the cotton dumped into a trailer sitting at the end of the long rows. The pickers were paid, by the pound, at the end of each week. Today, people wouldn't work for the pittance they made. In today's world, they've been replaced by automation, and the rows and rows of worker shanties, at the end of the plantation rows, have been replaced by memories.....

Memories from the pages in the "Memory Book in my Mind".......
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