Gaw-lee, lookatat worter (Gollie, look at that water)

The deep streams of the  Calcasieu Rivah are restrained by bayous with their enormous Cyprus trees, moss, shell reefs, and its lakes which envelope by impassable marshes. I was born in Calcasieu Parish nestled upon the banks of The Calcasieu Rivah. Which gathers its strengths from the powerful Mississippi RIvah. 

Gaw-lee, lookatat worter  

My mom’s amniotic sac burst, rippled in waves just like the Calcasieu Rivah, and she gave birth to me. Long before that, the mighty Mississippi gave birth to the Atchafalaya Rivah. When I was a kid, we’d drive across it four times a year: twice in December, once in June, and again in August to and from visiting with kin. It’s approximately 18.2 miles. Driving across the swampy basins of the Uh-cha-fuh-lie-uh Rivah, looking out the rear passenger window I’d see gators, fishermen, and miles of mucky trees. One night while driving, I remember thinking “I hope we don’t run out of gas… it’s a long walk through all that worter  and trees”. 

Gaw-lee, lookatat worter  

I often speak of time and its ability to alter 12 months, 365 days, 52 weeks, 8760 hours, 525600 minutes “how do you measure a year? (Rent)” I could write a book about all of the beautiful things that have happened in 2020, yet many of those pages would be stained with tears. Droplets frothing over the words, “I can’t breathe” – turning into a hymn that  quickly became amerikkka’s new national anthem. 

Gaw-lee, lookatat worter  

In 2020, the Calcasieu Rivah alongside the major waterways in Louisiana surged.  In unity and perhaps in allegiance bodies replenished with worter swelled in power. Living near worter is wonderful, except of course, when there’s a flood. Man made systems were erected to prevent the worters from rising and the rivers from flooding quickly began to falter. Within me, a natural levee created by the earth fights to escape. Good lawd, looka here if a levee breaks, the consequences can be disastrous.

Gaw-lee, lookatat worter  

On my date of birth, I find myself on the bank of the powerful Mississippi, in Minnesota. The rivah begins as a brook, with a row of larger slippery stones to walk across. Crossing the Mississippi, on that cold day in November. I vow to be more like worter- satisfied. strong as a glacier. soft as a raindrop. mutable through and through. Yet, powerful as the Mississippi that births both the Atchafalaya and the Calcasieu Rivahs, giving life to the surface of worter.

Gaw-lee, lookatat worter




1. bear all or part of the weight of; hold up.  2. 
give assistance to, especially financially; enable to function or act.

I grew up with three older siblings. In terms of family it was the four of us and my Dad. All the rest of our family, both paternal and maternal, lived in a parish in Louisiana. 

The four of us were close. We stood up for one another, we loved one another, and always had one another’s back. 

One year for Halloween (I don’t recall my exact age – elementary age for sure), we didn’t have enough money for food, let alone costumes. 

I began thinking about what it meant to provide for another. Like truly provide. My Dad always found ways to provide for the four of kids, even if it meant working three jobs at a time. 

As I pondered, I asked my Dad for a solo drinking cup, a plastic plate, fork, and spoon. I asked him for a box — I already had markers. For my costume that year, I was a kitchen table. 

I wanted to disguise myself as a provider for my family even though at that age I wasn’t quite old enough. However, I was able to share my candy with my siblings. Who also had to share their candy with the rest of the family. As per protocol, we all had to dump our candy together to freeze it so it would last throughout the year. 

That’s right folks: of all that candy we received on October 31st, we were allowed to have a couple of pieces nightly until roughly October 25th the following year when we’d run out. 

As I hike the Superior Hiking Trail support looks like…

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