Sometimes, in rare moments of my life, I get some peace and quiet where I can truly be alone with my thoughts. It is often times such as these right now, as I sit here, writing this article that I truly am at inner peace and thankfully harbored away from all the turmoil we pretend is modern day society.
I’m sitting out on the front porch with the rain coming down, birds chirping, crows crowing, the trees green around me and the silence of the rural country occasionally interrupted by a vehicle driving down the road not too far away from my house. It is at times such as these that often my deepest and most sincere thoughts surface.
With all this peace inside and around me, I thought to myself, “this is something very few Northern city slickers and urbanites can’t understand because they’ve never been able to truly detach from their busy hectic lives, where if they aren’t fretting over work, their shallow friends, or lamenting over how they appear in everyone’s eyes.”
Such an ability is something I’ve found to be uniquely Southern in quality. Unless you head out West or up in some remote Northern small towns, you won’t find this attitude. It got me thinking about all the travels I’ve done and just how beautiful the South is – in more than just what’s around us. Eventually, my thoughts wandered as the rain gently pattered down and nature peacefully surrounded me.
I’ve been to a lot of places all over this nation, I’ve been to almost every state, and I’ve even traveled many places all over the world, including my ancestral homeland of Germany (where I lived two years as a soldier).
Through these travels, I’ve met a lot of people and seen a lot. I believe some ways there is a spirit that ties us, while there are differences that divide us and make us who we are. That’s beautiful and something that should be preserved.
As a native old school Floridian, I run into transplants all the time and from all over. One thing I see in common with a vast majority of them is they all view us native Southerners as some sort of backwards uncultured people who they need to fix. I say to hell with them. We don’t need no fixing. We are just fine the way we are and happy. I wouldn’t have it any other way.
I’ve been all over the South, from places that are just put on a map to well known areas that even Yankees know of: Georgia, Arkansas, Tennessee, Louisiana, South Carolina, Virginia, Kentucky, Mississippi, Texas, Missouri, Oklahoma and everywhere else south of the Mason Dixon. You get the point, I’ve seen a lot and it’s given me a perspective as someone who has seen just how cultured the South really is.
My perspective flies in the face of what every Yank would tell you about the South. While we as Southerners might all be united in the manner we are Southerners, all of us, no matter where you hail south of the Mason Dixon line, all have a unique identity to the places we call home.
Even then, this can be divided up further from city folk, towns people and rural folk. All of us have just a touch of something that makes us unique in our identities, but all equally Southern and despite my dislike for city folk, I still think that’s a beautiful thing.
The Yankeeman just can’t understand it because in the Yankee mindset he views us monolithically just as he does himself. It is the Yankeeman who is uncultured and untraveled. It is the Yankeeman who believes everyone exactly the same. If you’ve ever done any sort of traveling in the South, you will know this to be a lie. From music city, Mardi Gra, BBQ, church steeples, long winding back roads, wheat burned fields, cotton fields, Missouri brew houses, Appalachian coal mines, Stone Mountain, and on and on, the South is far from uncultured. We have deep rooted history and blood tied to the land we call home.
Next time the Yankee or the media tries to tell you about your ancestors and your homeland, remember these things while you shake your head in pity. They have not nor can they hope to see the South as the beautiful shining gem you and I do.
Wave the flag and never forget who you are. They may be able to buy our land, build their suburbs in what once was rolling green cattle pastures or fertile farmland, but they can never take the spirit of the South from us that runs deeper than the water or blows stronger than the Seminole winds of Florida.
When Otto isn’t turning wrenches, you can hear the sound of him griping to himself about the state of the modern world echoing off the pine and oak trees that he emerges on occasion to harass carpetbaggers and Yankees.