Bayou Blues

Photo credit: Emily Ross

I try not to admit that I am afraid to go in the Bayou.
How strange is that?
I loved that place. I’d wander through there barefoot until I got so lost. I bumped into snakes twice as long as me, spiders the size of my hand, boars with babies, even a bobcat!
I never feared the animals or the Bayou, ever. And they did not fear me. In fact, it was the place in the world I felt the safest, got the most comfort, felt the most Peace.
Since the havoc that was Hurricane Harvey stole my farm animals, all my material possessions, and my Hope along with it, I struggle to get past half way to what used to be my own barn. Even to see if my Peace is still there, at the crook in that little tributary that fed the Bayou, where I think I left it.
I try again every once in a while, just to be sure.
On my brave days I can get to here- half way to the barn before I freeze.

I wonder it I could get all the way to the Bayou now that it isn’t mine anymore. Maybe I could pretend that fear is not mine any more either- as if I sold it with the house that was still gutted and raw when the construction company bought it. But I cannot seem to face her, now heavy with the betrayal of having abandoned her to someone I am not even sure knows how to appreciate her well. What if the Peace the Bayou brought me is no longer mine either? I am just not ready for that.

I would rather wonder.

I feel safer behind my fear, comforted that my Peace is waiting for me to go pick her back up, eager for us to reunite, there in that Bayou I told all my secrets to, the place that knew me better than any human ever could, waiting patiently for me not to be too afraid to go back and get her.

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