The Dirt You Are Waiting For Me To Shovel

It’s a beautiful day in Vicksburg, MS. Living here again has satisfied my strong obsession with nostalgia.

I have enjoyed living in places that had more to offer economically. I have loved living on the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico. And like John Denver sang long ago, if I had my druthers I’d go fishing, find myself a vacant lazy day…

Wade fishing for speckled trout on Mississippi’s barrier islands is a joy I will not soon forget. A boat and daily access to Cat Island is my rich man fantasy (that and an exotic sport car).

But for whatever reason the current of this place has always tugged on my heart and mind.

Maybe it is the mighty Mississippi River. I have fished for catfish in her, learned to water ski on her, and played for countless hours on her sandbars and tributaries.

Years and years ago, my dream was to ride the river on tugboats pushing massive loads of tied together barges. Three days after high school graduation, I flew to Paducah, KY and caught my first boat running south. I enjoyed being a deck hand even if I was the lowest man on the totem pole.

Vicksburg has a lot of problems. Like many other small towns, politics, economics, and a lack of hope has hurt my favorite little place. But even so, over the years she has been good to me.

The sun is shinning. The sky is blue. A soft breeze is blowing a few distant clouds around. And I love this place…

No matter how old you are, no matter the miles behind you, coming home can restore a sense of equilibrium. And for me? It has been a place of hope, healing, and peace.

God and I still have our differences. I continue to want for Him to play more fairly than He has… But I am so thankful to be here, to catch my breath, to see what this next stage of life has in store.

To be sure, I have days when I am pretty pitiful, despondent, and overly worried about the future.

But not today.
Today I am thankful to be home, to be loved, and to love again…

Oh yeah, before I forget… Smile! The dirt you are waiting for me to shovel is right outside the front door. I am headed there now to plant a new pink rose bush for Becki.

Happy Shoveling,
Les Ferguson, Jr.

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