The South

The South

Night, and beneath star-blazoned summer skies
Behold the Spirit of the musky South,
A creole with still-burning, languid eyes,
Voluptuous limbs and incense-breathing mouth:
Swathed in spun gauze is she,
From fibres of her own anana tree.

Within these sumptuous woods she lies at ease,
By rich night-breezes, dewy cool, caressed:
’Twixt cypresses and slim palmetto trees,
Like to the golden oriole’s hanging nest,
Her airy hammock swings,
And through the dark her mocking-bird yet sings.

How beautiful she is! A tulip-wreath
Twines round her shadowy, free-floating hair:
Young, weary, passionate, and sad as death,
Dark visions haunt for her the vacant air,
While noiselessly she lies
With lithe, lax, folded hands and heavy eyes.

Full well knows she how wide and fair extend
Her groves bright flowered, her tangled everglades,
Majestic streams that indolently wend
Through lush savanna or dense forest shades,
Where the brown buzzard flies
To broad bayous ’neath hazy-golden skies.

Hers is the savage splendor of the swamp,
With pomp of scarlet and of purple bloom,
Where blow warm, furtive breezes faint and damp,
Strange insects whir, and stalking bitterns boom—
Where from stale waters dead
Oft looms the great jawed alligator’s head.

Her wealth, her beauty, and the blight on these,—
Of all she is aware: luxuriant woods,
Fresh, living, sunlit, in her dream she sees;
And ever midst those verdant solitudes
The soldier’s wooden cross,
O’ergrown by creeping tendrils and rank moss.

Was hers a dream of empire? was it sin?
And is it well that all was borne in vain?
She knows no more than one who slow doth win,
After fierce fever, conscious life again,
Too tired, too weak, too sad,
By the new light to be or stirred or glad.

From rich sea-islands fringing her green shore,
From broad plantations where swart freemen bend
Bronzed backs in willing labor, from her store
Of golden fruit, from stream, from town, ascend
Life-currents of pure health:
Her aims shall be subserved with boundless wealth.

Yet now how listless and how still she lies,
Like some half-savage, dusky Indian queen,
Rocked in her hammock ’neath her native skies,
With the pathetic, passive, broken mien
Of one who, sorely proved,
Great-souled, hath suffered much and much hath loved!

But look! along the wide-branched, dewy glade
Glimmers the dawn: the light palmetto trees
And cypresses reissue from the shade,
And she hath wakened. Through clear air she sees
The pledge, the brightening ray,
And leaps from dreams to hail the coming day.


“Too Fragile, Too Fleeting, Too Magical”

“Some moments are for Instagram, some are just for the moments itself. We’re encouraged to document everything important that happens to us. Birthdays, proposals, baby’s first this or that, crazy nights out when everyone’s outfit is on point. It’s cool, we all do it. What gets tricky is when something great happens and you didn’t capture it, then you feel this sense of loss. That sense of loss and anxiety that you didn’t get to your phone fast enough then completely overtakes the magic of the moment that just took place. So lately, I’ve learned to really live my life, and not worry so much about documenting every split second of it. The most magical, exquisite, spontaneous things happen when there is no time to grab your phone. The best moments of my life have been too fragile, too fleeting, too magical to even try to document them with a camera. And I wish you a lifetime of moments too beautiful to capture on film.” | Taylor Swift in Glamour UK: the lessons I’ve learned and how they empower me.

Beautifully said.

Salt & Sea

Along the sea shore, the salt air thickens and white foam builds upon the sand.

Hair entangles about your face, and wind whips your loose clothing about your skin.

Breathe deeply.

Scattered shells decorate your path.

Sun drenched skies warm you to your soul.

The rolling waves play their song amidst a mesmerizing display,

And you float in its constancy.

My heart will miss the ocean and tropics greatly,

But to new places I travel, and this time and forever more, with another at my side.

Country Road, Take Me Home

One of my favorite things will forever be driving along long, winding back roads. It is especially so during the early golden mornings as the fog lifts, and the sun’s rays tenderly shoot across the land through the tree line. The steady hum of the engine carries me along down the paved road. Air so refreshing brings me to roll down every window, and the wind rushes into the car and through my tangled hair. Rolling hills, fences, and trees move past me as my gaze is drawn down the steady length of the road. The sky stands firm and still, a mighty backdrop. No music comes from the stereo. I like the silence of the drive and the steady strum of the engine and tires and wind. I like the solitude. To breathe deeply of the new morning air, full of freshness as everything dreamily awakens. My hand loosely grips the steering wheel. The morning mist rises; the sunlight continues to advance across the morning sky, beaming its brilliance across the expanse of the land, igniting the timberland and brush alight. It’s a time to think, and not think. A time to just be, and yet, move onward towards a destination, or no where in particular. I can be in silence, or sing as loudly as I want. Long, winding back roads in the countryside? Yes, please.

The Wind & Sea

A hurricane:

There’s a distinct might and valor as a hurricane begins to take command of the skies. Wind and rain build with each passing moment; the backdrop changing consistently, from a soft, cloudy grey to a deep, smoldering and ashy slate. As the skies continue to darken, the rain thickens to a tumultuous gale. The heavy wind forces the torrents path sidelong, soaking everything in its falling course and drowning the land. The branches of trees are strained and pulled far from their natural resting place as the wind battles through every crevice. Debris rushes about in an aimless course. However, the true beauty of a hurricane lies in the skies. Even in the midst of torrential downpour, the backdrop…the atmosphere…can look peaceful; still, almost, and suggests that the eye of the storm is near.

The beach:

Each shoreline is different: from the sand, to the water, to the skies. Frosted, powdery white sands sit closest to the coastland dunes, tangles of roots and tall grasses situated about, transitioning then to a grainy brown as crushed shells taint the sand with lavender flecks; salty water hard packs the sand to a spongy, dark brown as you walk towards the border. Sea foam garnishes the small waves nearest shore, and the ocean waters are ever-changing as they reflect the current wind and skies: White, blue, and gold seas with steady crashing swells in the morning; pink, purple, and still waters in the evening; bright blue tides with reflecting diamonds atop the waters as the summer sun bounces atop it in the late afternoon. Flashes of color and light gleam upon the waters, creating a dazzling and shimmering path. Shallow pools with clear, shining waters appear as the tide draws back. The salty mist brings about messy hair and sandy skin. What characterizes the beach most though is the horizon; the progression of the colors and the sharp lines.

Going to the beach during a hurricane:

The expanse of the ocean is a dark, murky brown as the waves brutally and powerfully churn up the sea floor. The wind carries the tips of the many crashing waves upwards towards the sky, creating a billowy mist just above the swells. Skies are darkened and foreboding, looking as though just hovering above land, yearning to open up and drop upon everything underneath. The sand is ripped apart to a fine grain, the fragments darting this way and that with the heavy gale, making it hard to keep your eyes open. The wind is strongest nearest water.