such a good weekend, full of friends & love & “real food” & community & swimming & catching up… with people & sleep. then, driving back to Cleveland I saw the most beautiful twilight I’ve seen in a long time. rust red around the horizon, deep navy sky, crescent moon. as with most of the best things in life, pictures don’t do it justice.
I’m happy to be back at Delta State, but oh, I’m excited about moving back to Jackson. all my friends here are going off to new places, but I feel like I’m just coming home. you see, when I first went to college it took me a little bit to adjust to cafeteria food & dorm life. in the afternoons, though, I would mapquest new places to go in Jackson, scribble the directions on a napkin (this was before iPhones, kids), get in my car & go explore. some days I would just get lost on purpose & try to find my way back to clinton. I played in Fondren most of the time, but slowly the whole city started coming together for me. I learned where the good cheap food is, where Clinton Blvd turns into Woodrow Wilson, how to manage rush hour, & when it was better to just take Northside all the way back.
as beautiful as it is, this city has a lot of problems. there was the Melton scandal. crime rates aren’t pretty. the roads are so potholed that they’re occasionally just plain dangerous (ex: Fortification St). the school system is over budget & dealing with accreditation problems. “white flight” is a little better, but continues to be an issue. yet despite the multitude of complex issues she struggles with, Jackson delights me. I think it’s because her story is just like ours… beautiful, full of talent & resources. corrupted by the fall. & yet still spilling over with potential, the possibility of new life. (plus I think it’s cool that Starbucks & Walmart are practically nonexistent here.)
things are happening here. new businesses are thriving. there’s a farmer’s market that just opened right down the road from my house. I’m so excited about the pix/capri revamp. 43 of this year’s TFA Delta corps members are teaching in Jackson. local churches are stepping up & reaching out. I couldn’t be more excited to make Jackson my home for a little while & introduce 42 new friends to her. she’s broken, but oh, it’s evident that the Lord is working through his people to restore & redeem her, to buy her back. I’m confident that living & working here is going to teach me so much about the heart of God… & if I can have one fraction of his jealousy for this city, well, it’ll be a real good year.
p.s. here’s florence + the machine covering ‘jackson’ by johnny cash.
way better theme than that kid rock song.