The Delta Is
It has been said that the Mississippi Delta stretches from the Lobby of the Peabody Hotel in Memphis, TN all the way to Catfish Row in Vicksburg, MS. This alluvial floodplain is made up of hardwood bottomland, cypress swamps, lakes, sloughs, bayous, and large expanses of cultivated cropland which is a perfect habitat for wading birds like herons and cranes and migratory birds like ducks and geese. Birds share the land and the abundant water with fish and reptiles of all descriptions, amphibians, and mammals from whitetail deer to bears, squirrels, rabbits, and a multitude of other creatures that crawl and walk and swim.
Yes, springing from the delta’s black soil comes cotton, soybeans, rice, and scores of other crops folks have toiled over for almost two centuries. It was from this toil, sweat, tears, and blood that the Delta Blues arose from the alluvial floodplain to fill the world and inspire almost every genre of music. Its beats, licks, riffs, and style are all a part of the creation of rock, country, and jazz. America’s music rises from this region, and it is heard around the world.
The delta is not the land, the water, the wildlife, or the people. The delta is a way of life, a mindset, and a distinct attitude. It is not about surviving; it is about thriving in a special place and time. It is living off the land and with the land. It is honking of geese as they fly south for the winter, it is the song of whip-poor-will calling in the wood line around a cotton field. The delta is a sad, melancholy song, a crying guitar, a drawn-out moaning harmonica, and a soulful voice resonating from one of a hundred honky-tonks and juke joints lining the history-filled highways and backroads pulsing through the heart of the most unique place on earth…The Mississippi Delta.
Copyright 2021 © John R. Helms, Jr.
25% of the proceeds will go towards cleaning the river banks of the Mississippi Delta through the Salty Soul Foundation (Delta Chapter)