Brushing Ants

When you’re four, the world is a very big place. Every turn is a potential discovery—or a potential danger. Only adults can really help you tell the difference.

For me, the world barely covered two southwest Mississippi counties, but it seemed expansive. Trips to Mamaw’s seemed like an all day chore, even though she lived about 8 miles away. Visiting my father’s family in Brookhaven seemed like driving to another world, and we didn’t have much use to drive to McComb very often, except for the special trip to Winn-Dixie or Rose’s—until the 1975 tornado destroyed them. So we spent most of our time in that little green house near Summit. And it was like heaven for us kids.

We had the pond just across the barbed wire fence, and every rain created a creek that ran into it. We’d sometimes… Read More …

Riding the 6

Back in 2006, a sharply-dressed, elderly black woman sat across from me on the number 6 DART bus. During the 40 minutes we shared on that long cross-county ride, I wondered who she was, where she was born, and what she had seen in her many years.

Maybe she was a Delaware native and witnessed the Wilmington Riots—they weren’t quite riots. Perhaps she grew up in Christiana, one of the only rural towns in New Castle County that had a thriving black community, dating back to the 1850s. Had she moved to Delaware from the South in hopes of a better life? I wondered all these things, but… Read More …

When I Ruled the World

I pride myself on having no regrets or resentments in life. Every single thing that has ever happened to each of us makes us who we are today. If you’re truly happy with that person, then every struggle and every joy was well worth it. And I am mostly happy with who I am.

But this doesn’t mean I don’t miss a few opportunities I once had.

When I was a kid, I pretty much ruled my world. Everything was there for me to see, and there seemed to be few limits! I’m not saying… Read More …