This morning I was thinking about my life in Cape Girardeau, MO, growing up very near the Mississippi River and how special that river was to me as a child & also as a teen-ager. There was just something about sitting on a river wall (NOT THE river wall downtown, but the one out near Cape Rock) and watching the river go by. Somehow it soothed my soul at times.
My teen-age years were tumultuous to say the least. I was quite the rebellious one. Consequently, I had many troubled thoughts. I had given up praying because I thought God likely was not happy with me, and I even doubted His existence. (I don’t doubt it now)
Did anyone else from Cape ever talk to the river? I may regret putting this information out into cyberspace, but I did talk to that river when I was young. I told it my troubles, hoping they would rush on down the river with that water. Sometimes, at particularly bad times, I would think about jumping into that river but never had the guts (or lack of them) to do it. Besides, I was afraid there might actually be a hell and I was afraid of going there.
I was madly in love with a young man who did not love me and I spent the better part of 10 years trying to MAKE him love me. I met him when I was 12; I gave up on him when I was 21. And, NO, I will not name the person. Some of you closest to me and to him know who it was. But let’s not go there. I now know that if there was ever anything impossible, definitely making someone love you is absolutely not possible. I was a sorry mess, I can tell you.
Even if the Mississippi River is not a person, it sure listened to me and never berated me or gave me any advice. Sometimes that’s really all you need; just to be able to voice what is in your heart and imagine that someone or something is listening and cares about how you feel.
I still love that river and I sure do miss it.*Photo courtesy of: http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/view-image.php?image=45114&picture=river
I too miss the river at Cape it feels like an old friend or wise elder. It always seems to be willing to listen and then comment when you have shared you burden with it. Good to see you writing again.
Thanks for your encouragement Terry.
Still living by the river, just a little more north in St. Louis, I can’t imagine not being near that big, flowing body of water. Living totally land-locked would feel very strange to me. It is comforting to be a part of the rich history of the Mississippi River and the stories it has to tell.
I too, spent years not understanding why a person I cared for so much (met at 11 years old) could not give back those same feelings. We spent many days and hours together, but I never got from him the same type of feelings that I had. Now, a much older and wiser me understands—-he was gay. As young people of our generation, I didn’t understand it then and, I don’t think, neither did he. But, all the signs were there. I just didn’t recognize them. Wish I could speak to him now and tell him that I do understand that he was a very good friend to me, which was all that he could be.
Thanks for sharing, Carole. I am land-locked now & it just doesn’t feel right even after almost 50 yrs!
Darla, I lived a block up from the old bridge on Lorimer. I loved that river and still get excited every time I see it. Before I retired, I worked in the Convention Div. of the American Veteriarian Medical Assoc., which held it’s conventions across the country. So I was privileged to stay at the mouth of the river in Minneapolis, and a few years later at the end in New Orleans. My hotel room faced the river and every morning I thought, “just a day or so ago this same water was passing by Cape.”
Thank you for your comment. It is simply amazing the effect the river has on those who grew up near it.
I stopped for a night in Cape Girardeau on my way down south. The Cape is a town of great character. I also have a love for a river, the Kankakee. It is a comforting to sit and listen to her voice, wade her riffles, and see her power. She has been my safe haven over many years.
Thanks for your words, Gene. I have been gone from Cape for many years but it is still so special in my heart, especially the area along the river. I’m glad you have had the same kind of experience with the Kankakee River; it calms the mind and the soul.