Sunday, May 8, 2011

Southern Voice

I just love the sound of a true southern voice. It is like music, lyrical and soft. Not that hick redneck kind of accent which is rough and unfinished like course sandpaper. But that long sweet drawl that takes a sunrise to udder the words of a good morning. That rhythmic cadence that lulls you into an almost dream state. And as quick as a flash will pop you out of the dream state with a soulful laugh at its own story. Oh ,how I love to linger over good southern story told in the native tongue of southern poets. To hear those sounds takes me to place in my childhood, where we picked peaches, all sorts of vegetables, canned fruit and I listen to the stories of my grandmother and her sisters. It was like listening to a symphony orchestra of southern voices. As they talked and I listened, they prepared food that would send your tastes buds on adventure of culinary delight. Remembering the smell of that food and their voices mixed together gives me feeling of complete contentment. Today, when I hear an elderly southern lady with the soft sweet drawl, I remember my grandmother and her voice as it still speaks to me.

What is about the south that draws people in? Is it the hospitality, the courtesy, the gentleness or the pace of the south? I am more inclined to believe it is all that and more. The south moves at its own rhythm, like the Mississippi slowly moving out the sea. It allows one to have great introspection. It lets the soul to become filled with the love and goodness of the people, family and culture. In the South nothing of any worth or true goodness is done in a hurry. We savor the moments of the process, whether it making a peach cobbler or communing with a higher existence. We revel in the simple pleasures of life from laughing to crying, from blissful joy to a momentary sadness. I believe true Southerners are people of emotion and the earth and heaven.

Southerners do many things that exceed their counterparts. A dear friend mine wore this absolutely stunning hat to the Kentucky Derby recently. I just had to remark that I loved that hat. She replied “We got it all over the people at last weekend's Royal Wedding when it comes to hats!” Which in turn I replied, “Of course we do, we Southerners!” We tell stories that start at sunrise and last till midnight and lay out a spread of food that will make your taste buds sing. This is our communion, our connection to each other and our praise to thankfulness for our journey on this earth.

I grew up in the South and I am bias. I have lived in other parts of the country but always come home; home to the place of tall tales, gentile manners and magnolias. But that’s ok because nowhere on earth will you find a place such as this, where Spanish moss waves in the breeze, jasmine sweetens the air and the rivers run wide. Nowhere will find the quiet introspection this place gives or lifts your spirit to the heavens. This is my home and I love it. I love the sound of that musical southern drawl. Say, tell me a story……