We decided it was time to blow this popsicle stand and head south. Jackson and I drove to St. Mary Parish in Louisiana to visit friends. Their family owns a 200-year-old working sugar cane plantation. We stayed there quite literally on the bayou.
We also spent some time in New Orleans and at extended family’s homes. All of it was exactly the what we needed. Children allowed to run wild through the yard, searching for raccoons, possums and alligators. Moms on the front porch in rocking chairs and swings, sharing laughter and heartbreak. All of us breathing a little easier even in the thick, humid air.
One night as we put them all to bed, our host told them that for 200 years, little boys slept in this house. They giggled after dark and plotted any number of shenanigans. She told them if they listened closely, the walls would tell them the stories of boys before them. The trees would whisper the locations of possums, squirrels and raccoons for them to chase. The wind in the leaves would sing them to sleep.
One of boys, so very sweet and literal, told us that walls don’t have mouths and trees can’t talk. That, we explained, was the magic. He was unconvinced, but closed his eyes anyway, just to prove us wrong. They were all asleep almost immediately.
Make no mistake, that house is magic. It cast the spell of summer on all of us. And for that, we are so very grateful.