Mississippi Moments

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Yes, we will gather at the river,
the beautiful, beautiful river...
It's really brown, sluggish with barges and tugboats, egrets in the sidechannels, fishermen in motorboats lazily floating along, bugs, bugs everywhere, and even garbage stealing raccoons in broad daylight. This was on the Arkansas side.
We took the children on a field trip to the Mississippi River over at the Helena River Park in Arkansas. Signs everywhere not to swim. Gravel factory busy across the river loading up barges. A casino in the distance. Mockingbirds, black-capped chickadees, and small orange butterflies flitting about, the air full of fluff and stuff from the surrounding trees, fields, and bushes. We went down to the river and identified key features (levee, shore, river, bank, mud) and then we sang some songs, some traditional (Let Us Gather at the River) and some not (The Great Mississippi by the Singing Ranger). That was fun. We had an audience of the gravel workers from across the river who got quiet to hear us.
I learned today that the fields around Jonestown are mostly soy and corn and the fields farther out are cotton. It has been drought-like in Mississippi this spring, so the rains and storms are needed and welcomed.
Today is the Solstice-a golden long day to bring your Dreams and Hopes into the Light and give them warmth, love, and promise. My dreams spoke to this last night.
I slept very well after all the running, coaching, and working out yesterday. I also made it down to the softball field last evening and had the good fortune to meet the Seattle HNA volunteers for the first time. One of the chaperones remembered me from St. Anne's when I taught 2nd grade. She was in the 8th grade at that time.There are 12 volunteers from HNA New York and Seattle this summer at St. Kay's Durocher House. They are teaching things like Spanish, Creative Writing, Math, Biology, Technology Skills, General Science, GED prep, and anything else that comes into focus that is needed. The word around here is that this is the BEST, most cohesive group with last year's group thrown in also. What a blessing to have the example of these fine women
here doing such powerful good. I want my daughter to go to HNA when it is time...and I know that she will choose for herself.
Today we have coaching, dance, and then workout. I am in the process of creating a skills check-off list for soccer that goes with this grant for the summer program. Tomorrow we give "swimming lessons.
p.s. We also stopped at the MS Welcome Station on the way back. The delightful women there were ready to give the children cold cokes. The other thing that was cracking me up was that our little ones had never seen nor used automatic water washers or auto-hand driers. They would have been in there for an hour squealing and playing if I hadn't done the Sheltie on them. It was also enlightening to explain to a couple of 5th graders that what they were touching was an actual bale of cotton....they had never seen one before even though the stuff grows all around them.


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