Thursday, 11 April 2013

Homeward Bound

Little Rock, Arkansas. It's wet outside, the residual effect of last night's tremendous thunder storm. The wind is still blowing although nowhere near as powerful as it was at the height of the tempest. It's a light wind, interspersed with moments of calm. The sky is a solid overcast of gray with the threat of rain but little chance of delivery on that threat.

I awoke this morning to a rhythmic pounding, a solid backbeat in the walls of my room originating from the room next door. The timing, pace, and duration was impressive enough to put the drummer of a rock band, a John Bonham, Keith Moon or maybe even a Ringo Starr, to shame. And it was 6:30 AM! Despite my vigourous pounding on the walls, begging cessation, the localized thunder continued until its natural denouement. By the time it was done, I couldn't get back to sleep.

Neither could my neighbours continue with slumber, as shortly after the completion of the morning announcement, the door next to ours opened and closed with a solid thump, seeming to trigger the same arising moment all across the floor. A dozen or so doors all opened and closed with the same solid thump within a few minutes of the first. Finally I acquiesced to gathering day and went for breakfast.

The talk around the breakfast room was all about the storm. It was big. It was impressive. It was the first major storm that Little Rock had seen in some time. I watched the news, anticipating the projected tornado to have done some horrific local damage to a rural Arkansas trailer park. There was nothing. The storm had passed, gone away with only a few lightening struck transformers blown to mark the event.

The drive yesterday was gentle, except for that time we spent navigating the sea of rain that deluged the region as we drove into Little Rock. It was a near tropical downpour of Biblical proportion, but not sustained enough to cause one to need the Ark. It made driving "interesting", especially when Ricky decided that speeding up to get through the rain blast of a passing semi-trailer was a good idea. I didn't think it was. We resolved the issue; I stopped expressing my opinion and he slowed down. We survived.

The landscape from the Gulf Coast of Louisiana to the rolling hills of Arkansas is an easy, steady rise. The flats of the coast give way to slow, loping hills; the short scrub and grass slowly thickening and rising ever higher, moving from short brush and swampy grass to a thickness of thatched trees, a blend of pine, oak, willow, pecan and countless others. Bayou turned to swamp, then pond, then small, clear lakes. These low hills will rise for hundreds more miles, eventually lifting and blending to become the great, oak covered eastern mountain ranges with names like Appalachia and Smokey.

Today we are going to Graceland; no real reason, neither Ricky nor I are giant Elvis fans. I believe Elvis is dead. He left the building in August of 1977, never to return. I do not worship his memory although I still enjoy his music, especially the more soul-felt ballads that slid out of him on occasion. After visiting Memphis for an hour or two, we will head for St. Louis.

We are homeward bound.

1 comment:

  1. Good news Honey, it will be nice for you to get home.