This I Believe

Laura - Florence, Alabama
Entered on May 7, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30

“Sweet Southern Comfort”

It has often been said that being southern is nothing more than a state of mind. However, I think that being southern is a state of being. I believe in the power of the south. I believe in all things southern.

The sun was setting on a muggy June night. I was just arriving home as a fine mist settled over the pastures and every settled surface. The moon was rising and the cicadas were serenading me with their all too familiar melody. I had been gone for thirteen days on a whirlwind trip to Maine. I couldn’t stand the thought of any more seafood, and I was overloaded on diet Coke as a result of the lack of sweet tea. Arriving home, I bounded from the car and took it all in. The smell of the grass and the cicadas ringing in my ears were the comfortable reminders of home. Lightning bugs began to dance and illuminate the yard as the sun finally set, and the moon shone with all its glory. The moment I had stepped out of the car, everything slowed down. The night seemed to stand still and the anxious thoughts that had filled my mind all seemed to melt away. I was away from the factory cities, industrial towns, and all the rude behavior that had plagued the tail end of my trip. I was home, and none of that mattered anymore. My southern state of being overwhelmed me as the air of the night engulfed me in its charms.

The experience of traveling to a new city outside of my comfortable southern borders is one that I wouldn’t trade for anything. However, I am certainly not in any hurry to do it again anytime soon. The experience of the trip to Maine truly put into perspective what I believe. I believe in the south.

I believe in a south where y’all is accepted and expected. I believe in big old houses with wrap around porches, where it is socially acceptable to sit on a porch swing outside and literally watch the grass grow and take the world in as it passes by. I believe in ice cold, sweet tea as a cure for anything. I believe in a south where fried chicken and homemade pies are the fare for Sunday afternoons. I believe in a south where men are still chivalrous gentlemen and women still have the qualities of classy debutantes. I believe in a south where everything moves at a slower pace, where there is always tomorrow. My south is one where everyone is welcome and where everyone can feel at home. My south is my own backyard- it’s my state of being.

In this I believe.