Look Around Mississippi's waterways - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Look Around Mississippi's waterways

Posted: Updated:

The Mississippi River has been in the news so much lately that Mississippians are reminded how much all of the rivers and streams of this state are a part of everyone's lives.

All most no one living today has ever seen the Mississippi River as high as it is right now.

Levees are being tested as they have never been before.

And people living on the protected side are hoping the engineers got the math right when they designed them decades ago.

But even in the floods, people are doing with the water what we have always done best with our water in Mississippi: Play in it.

It was the Mississippi River that brought the first people to this area.

And I'm not just talking about the European explorers, who did come down the Mississippi from Canada first, before they came up from the coast.

But the Native Americans most likely came to this area down the Missouri to the Mississippi.

It's their name we still use for the river, Mississippi: Father of Waters.

The river and the culture it fostered is the springboard for much of the lore and legend of Mississippi.

Legends of bluesmen selling their souls to the devil at the crossroads at midnight.

The Great River Road was one of the roads in that crossroads legend.

And speaking of midnight and legends and myth and rivers.

Here's one I just heard about.

Years ago Bigfoot was spotted along a lonely stretch of the Fair River near Sontag one night.

Down south, we have the Pascagoula.

Largest river in the nation that still runs free with no dams, levees or impediments of any kind.

The Pascagoula is a living laboratory to see if we do a better job or nature at tending to waterways.

Our rivers are our playgrounds.

We water ski on the lakes, we fish in them, we have favorite swimming holes.

And go to them just to do none of that, except to look and think.

And you don't even have to think of you don't want to.

Along the gulf we've seem some of the worst hurricanes to ever make landfall in the United States.

And we admire the survivors and take encouragement from them.

And even the victims have been turned into monuments and works of art that we'd have had no other way.

And we still play in the gulf waters, too.

Mississippi River floods of over 80 years ago are still remembered by us all, although we weren't even alive back then to have seen them first hand, because of the stories handed down about them.

I imagine we will be talking about the Great Flood of 2011 for a long time, too.

But we'll still be playing in our rivers and streams and lakes for a lot longer than that.

Copyright 2011 WLBT. All rights reserved.

Powered by WorldNow