If you have never gone and sat on the banks of the Mississippi River, your citizenship should be revoked. There is never a time that I don't miss the river. I can remember crossing it as a young child to visit my grandmother, on a bridge so rickety I STILL can't believe it's there. And, there was a train on the bridge at the same time.
I can remember crossing it on ferry boats to get to Algiers, Plaquemine, and St. Francisville. I need the water. I need the lazy move of her swaying ships, like a woman singing a siren song. The blues were born on the Mississippi. The kind of blues you can't get out of your mind. Not "Old Man River". That doesn't even begin to do it justice.
I have gone to sit on the levee so many times when I'm faced with a decision, or a hard time, or a good time in my life. Lying on the riverbank gives you the feeling no one else is there, until one of the barges or riverboats toots its horn. I can remember taking a blanket and a bottle of wine to the levee, alone, when I felt alone. I have gone there with friends to be festive, or to grieve.
There's just no getting around the river. When we go to Baton Rouge, the first thing I want to do is go to the river. And then go to New Orleans, so I can sit on a bench and just watch that lazy old river run down the bend and on to farther destinations, or maybe just the Port of New Orleans. It doesn't matter. It touches me.
It makes me feel part of a greater plan, a bigger picture, something much larger than me.
So, if you have never been to the river - - go there. Alone, or with friends (depending on the neighborhood) but you will never be the same.