Ari, Derrick and I walked down by Turkey Creek tonight. It was just before nightfall.
The volunteers from Arizona have been working there this week and I had not yet been to the water's edge of Turkey Creek. They were escorting me home and as we passed the Headstart school I asked if this was the school behind which lay the work area Russell had mentioned in All Hands meeting Tuesday.
Derrick said, "Yes. Do you want to see it?" And I said yes. We parked the truck and walked through the schoolyard and across the small open lot behind it and entered the trees. There was a path! It was not immediately apparent until we were only a few feet from the trunks. He led and Ari and I followed.
He knows the woods--is that the right word? He pulled leaves and bent them and handed to us to sniff. He pointed to various vegetation and told stories. And he was enjoying himself though he never said so much. What he said was "Oh, Miss Alex is so happy now." And I smiled. I was happy. We were all happy.
Sweet to have a little bit of time in the damp, sheltered green arcade after sunset. I was wearing sunglasses when we entered but removed them after awhile because it became difficult in the slow-falling dusk to see the muted bloom colors. The blond sand of the path reflected the dim, three-quarter moonlight but just a few feet beyond the path, to either side, night was creeping in. To the right, the lush undergrowth was draped in shadow and to the left, the still, brackish water of the Creek lay like a pile of wide satin ribbon uncoiled.
We walked slowly along the path. I felt the place.
I am so glad we stopped. It was a transformative experience. A visit to another world. A glimpse of another face of Gulfport.